Google+ (pronounced Google Plus and often written as "G+") was a social networking service created and operated by Google. It was in beta (and invitation-only) for much of July, 2011, but as of 2011-07-31 the home page and sign-in page showed no signs of any restriction. General public release was on or about July 31 with open access to all afterwards.
The service shut down on April 1, 2019. Much of the user content has been saved to the Internet Archive, though indications are that the sampling was quite sparse.
Features and Technology
Basic features of Google+ included:
- Circles in which users may organize others.
- User Profile page
- +1 Button
At its heartm the service resembled a blogging or microblogging platform with a very limited (and chronically buggy) Markdown format, in which posts may appear in other users' Streams.
Google+ has been the source of a number of controversies over its existence, including:
- "Real Names" policy, aka "Nymwars".
- Gender disclosure.
- Government censorship, particularly in the People's Republic of China.
- YouTube Comments / G+ integration.
- "Two Factor Authentication" and phone-number registration.
- /exodus: information kiosk for those who have left, or are planning to leave, G+ (voluntarily or otherwise)
- /management: the people who make decisions about G+ /policy
- /naming: the infamous "common name" policy, and the controversy regarding it
- /suspensions: list of users whose accounts have been suspended due to ostensible naming policy violations
- /users: small experimental database for tracking G+ users (including management)
- 2014-06-09 [L..T] Thanks for nothing, jerkface
- 2011-07-27 [L..T] Why it Matters: Google+ and Diversity
- 2011-07-26T12:00:00 [L..T] Fraudsters Already Exploiting Google+ It was inevitable. With the creation of Google+, a new social network already boasting over 20 million users, the scammers were sure to follow. Here's a note a probable fraudster sent to reader Geoff through his Google+ profile, informing him that someone died in Africa and he needs to be contacted about a "business transaction" of "magnitude."
- 2011-07-03T20:50:00 [L..T] Google made my son cry