Google Plus back from the dead as ‘Google Currents’ enterprise workspace app

The Google Plus logo split in half

The now-defunct social media platform Google Plus has been unexpectedly resurrected as an enterprise application to rival the likes of Slack and Facebook Workplace.

After the service sustained a data leak of half a million accounts in October 2018, Google launched a security review and decided to shut down the platform permanently.

A second data leak in December - this time exposing the private data for 52.5 million users - led Google to accelerate its demise from August to April 2019. The platform then officially closed just 10 days ago.

This has also coincided with the launch of Google Currents, which touts itself as a like-for-like replacement to the Google Plus for G Suite app that had been available only for enterprise users.

"Currents is a G Suite app that enables people to have meaningful discussions and interactions across your organization, helping keep everyone in the know and giving leaders the opportunity to connect with their employees," the company announced.

"Currents makes it easy to have meaningful discussions by enabling leaders and employees to exchange ideas across the organization and gather valuable feedback and input from others - without flooding inboxes."

Among features in the new platform are analytical tools that let users track how widely-seen their posts across the network are, and priority offered to posts from leadership teams.

Tags and streams, including a 'home stream', are designed to show individuals the most relevant posts for them at any time.

Organisations can register with the Google Currents beta now, and all content for existing Google Plus users will automatically transfer upon enrollment. The app is available in all versions of G Suite.

Incidentally the name 'Google Currents' is itself a resurrection of the name once prescribed to a social magazine app, or Google's answer to Apple News. This app launched in 2011 but was replaced two years later with Google Play Newsstand.

Before retiring just days ago, Google Plus endured a torrid life playing second-fiddle to more widely-used platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The data leak in October would have proved the final nail in the coffin but for the subsequent exposure of 52.5 million users not long after.

But Google yet hopes to keep its social media platform alive in some form, with the core code in its consumer-focused app now porting to a business-oriented workplace service.

This also follows the launch of several new G Suite updates at Google Cloud Next 2019, with Sheets, Hangouts, Calendar and Gmail touted for the near future.

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.