Google, no stranger to shuttering its own products, is pulling the plug on Google+ Local for iOS. The mobile search and discovery app will be retired on August 7th, just a year after launch. However, other reports have stated that the app has already been removed from the App Store, and links pointing to the app seem to be broken.
Formerly known as Google Places, Google+ Local lets consumers voice search for nearby restaurants, check Zagat ratings, and read and post reviews of local venues. Although Google+ Local for iOS will no longer be available as a standalone app, its functionality will be merged into the Explore feature in Google Maps.
This means that all reviews and ratings will still be accessible through Google Maps and individuals’ Google+ Profiles. Consumers and local businesses can breathe easily knowing that all of that data will still be easily accessible for future reference.
Google+ Local isn’t the first location service to be shuttered by the search giant. Just two weeks ago the company announced that Latitude, its location-based service, would be shut down on August 9th in favor of Google+. While neither of these shut downs will have a major impact on your daily activities, it could change the way your customers share information about your business.
It’s still unknown whether consumers will adopt Google+, or if they’ll simply turn to other platforms like Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook. If you currently rely on or actively promote your business on Google+ Local, you might want to give a heads up to your customers on other ways they can find and review your business online.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.