Last year, Google announced that it was shutting down Google Plus, the social network from the search engine giant by the end of August this year. Following this announcement, Google recently shared another closure message.
The Small Business Community Message board will be discontinued and become inactive after 16th January 2019. This announcement was made public in an official release from Google on 2nd Jan.
Google in the announcement expressed their gratitude to members for being a part of this community board. It also stated that it was a great journey, and their insights, tips, and enthusiasm shared by members over the years was the reason for the great journey.
What is the Small Business Community from Google?
As the product name implies, it was a virtual space where small business owners could interact with other small business owners. They could share information, tips,insights with each other, while also organising meet-ups using the platform.
If you are hearing about this platform for the first time, then it’s because that the small business community wasn’t available globally. It was restricted to users from just a few cities in the US.
The project never made it out of the Beta stage since its launch in 2014. Since the project never found many active users, since the beginning, it’s possible that Google didn’t expand it beyond the Beta stage and the pilot cities.
What does the Small Business Community from Google Do?
Initially, the Small Business Community was set up as a community within Google Plus. It’s an open-to-all platform, and you could join it using a Google account. Once on the platform, you could connect and interact with other small business owners in your area.
Initially, the community had over 8000 members and offered daily inspirational posts and tips, relevant to small businesses. Weekly training sessions, Hangouts with a team of trusted advisors from Google offering digital expertise for small businesses was initially offered.
Additionally, the platform also offered Helpouts. These are one-on-one video calls that helped small business owners connect with experts. The Helpouts offered assistance on a wide array of topics ranging from – bookkeeping, QuickBooks,website reviews, WordPress, YouTube strategies, and more.
Some Helpouts were free, whereas, for others, users had to pay a consultation fee to the expert. Small business owners could check qualifications, reviews, and expertise of the expert before choosing them. Additionally, users could quickly see when an expert was available, thereby making it easy to schedule a session.
What’s the Current State of the Community?
The Small Business Community from Google currently doesn’t have many active users. Other than a few comments regarding the closing post, there isn’t much activity in the community.
What does this mean for Google?
The shutting down of the Small Business Community drives another nail into Google’s attempts to make it big in the social world. The other notable closure is Google+, which is scheduled to be officially pulled down a few months later.
Why was it shut down?
With the increase in social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and others, today small business owners can instantly connect and interact with other small business owners, using these platforms. The failure of the Small Business Community from Google to provide an innovative and unique solution for addressing the specific challenges of small business owners is likely the reason for it from not gaining popularity.