Author: TEGNA Staff

Published: 9:25 AM EST February 1, 2019

Updated: 9:30 AM EST February 1, 2019

Google’s social media network, Google+, will officially shut down on April 2, the company announced this week.

All Google+ accounts and pages will be shut down and deleted starting on April 2, Google said in a statement on Wednesday. Citing low usage and challenges to maintain a “successful product,” Google announced last year that it would be closing its social network sometime in April.

Users won’t be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities and events as early as Feb. 4.

A response to Facebook and other social media sites, Google+ was launched in June 2011. It was the search engine’s fourth attempt at getting into social media. The strategy to make itself different was to create “circles,” or groups of contacts who share common interests.

But the social network never caught on. In 2014, the New York Times reported that Google+ had 29 monthly users on its website, compared to 128 million Facebook users on its website. A study by Stone Temple Consulting found in 2015 that 90 percent of people with Google+ profiles had never posted publicly on its website, Forbes reported.

The plan to shutter Google+ was accelerated late last year in October after a security breach disclosed up to 500,000 users’ personal information. Then, in November, Google said a software update leaked 52.5 million users’ data, including names, emails and occupations.

Google shared instructions for how to download and save your content but noted that it must be done before April. You can read more information about the shutdown here.

Photos and videos backed up on Google Photos will not be deleted.