The big picture: Back in 2018, Google announced plans to shut down its controversial “Google+” social network, with shrinking user numbers and a series of data breaches being the primary reasons for the decision. However, the company felt there was a place for Google+ in the world of business, so it rebranded the service to “Google Currents” and left it open for enterprise users for years to come. Unfortunately for those users, the grim reaper has returned to finish the job, and this time, Google+ won’t be spared.
If you’ve never heard of Google Currents, it essentially gave every company that signed up a private social media network for their workers and executives to interact in. They could have casual chats, message each other, and publish important (or unimportant) announcements as desired. Given that Currents managed to survive four years under Google’s watchful eye, it probably saw some limited amount of success.
Either way, though, Google feels the platform has become entirely obsolete now. In a recent Google Workspace announcement post, the company revealed that Google+’s business incarnation will wind down in 2023, and effectively be replaced by Google Spaces, which launched last year. Google Spaces is available across the entire Google Workspace suite, meaning G Suite customers can access the feature from Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and more.
Spaces are essentially mini Microsoft Teams or Slack chats. You can create spaces focused on specific topics, upload files, set and check off tasks, pin posts, chat, and use emojis just as you can in most other business communication apps. Google does plan to add “new capabilities” to Spaces before fully shutting down Google Currents that will better ease the transition, but we don’t know much about them; only that they’ll help you “communicate and collaborate” more effectively.
If you or your organization currently takes advantage of Google Currents, note that some of its lesser-used features (no examples have been provided) will be switched off in the lead-up to its eventual shutdown.