When I recently posted a parody “Message from Google” regarding the upcoming shutdown of consumer Google+, I did not anticipate the wellspring of reactions from Google users, including those who were not specifically Google+ users.
An Important Message from “Google” about Google+ !
(Google Docs Version: https://lauren.vortex.com/google-plus)
I had anticipated many folks saying that the posting was funny but in key respects depressingly true — which they did — but I did not expect my inbox to be flooded with consumer and business users telling me that they were abandoning Google services or not moving operations to Google, due to Google’s shabby treatment of so many users, and I did not realize that I was going to become the focal point for desperate, loyal G+ users asking me questions that Google has been refusing to answer.
In retrospect I shouldn’t have been surprised. To this day, Google has as far as I know not emailed ordinary G+ users about what’s going on, has no informational banners up about the impending shutdown, and (believe it or not!) is still soliciting for new users to join G+ and spend their time following other users and getting to know a service that Google is about to mercilessly destroy!
It’s remarkable. Unfathomable. Disgraceful.
And the questions. G+ users are sending me their questions:
What happens to all of the external web pages and posts that link to public G+ posts? Google taking down those G+ posts will break vast numbers of non-Google pages around the web.
What happens to sites that have deeply embedded G+ APIs for displaying “Plus” counts, follower boxes, G+ site login integrations, and more? What happens to Google Contacts data integrated from G+?
What is the ultimate fate of the actual G+ posts and related data? Do they all suddenly vanish from public view, from the control of their authors? Will they continue to be used internally by Google for ad system, machine learning, or for other purposes?
The list goes on and on.
Meanwhile, Google is hardly saying anything at all. It’s obvious that they’re treating consumer G+ — and all of its loyal users — as inconvenient pariahs, tossing us all into their dumpster as quickly and unceremoniously as possible.
My inbox is full of users both angry and sad, who loved Google but are now feeling like they’ve been pushed out of a car and directly into the path of steamrollers.
I’ve always tried to help with Google-related problems when I could. But I really don’t know what to say to these jilted users abandoned so callously by Google, because frankly I feel the same way about how Google is mistreating us, and Google has not been forthcoming with explanations, answers, or even believable excuses.
It’s obvious that Google just doesn’t care. And perhaps that’s the saddest part of all.