Google Plus (or Google+) was used primarily by business-to-business and technology-focused businesses. It launched in June 2011, by which time LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter had established themselves and were generating business results.
As a result, it had a somewhat hesitant start, with many accounts being created by default (when setting up a Google account for other services such as Gmail). However, the SEO and web traffic benefits of Google Plus allowed it to survive, in somewhat different formats.
Google Plus differed from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in that was more focused on bringing people together within the context of many Google services - often referred to as a "social layer", rather than a social media platform.
Google announced in October 2018 that it would be closing Google Plus after it emerged that a bug in the software had caused serious data breaches. There will be a transition period until August 2019 to allow users to download and migrate their data.
Written by independent marketing practitioner Luan Wise.