Google has announced that it will be shutting down Currents, which launched in 2019 as a replacement for Google Plus for G Suite. In a blog post, the company says it “plans to phase out Currents,” and that it will push the people using it to Spaces, which is a bit like the Google Chat version of a Slack channel or Discord- room.
Google says it’s making the change so users don’t have to work in a “separate, silo destination” — instead, they’ll use Chat and Spaces, which will soon be prominently integrated into Gmail. The company promises to make Spaces a more suitable replacement in the coming year, saying it will provide “new capabilities” such as “support for larger communities and leadership communications, investments in advanced search, content moderation tools, and more.”
While Google says it plans to phase out Currents in 2023, “rarely used” features will disappear from Q1 2022 (which is what we’re currently in). It lists the features that will be removed or degraded in a support document and promises to keep Workspace administrators informed about future changes and the migration timeline.
Currents hasn’t gotten much love from Google. I could only find three blog posts about it on Google’s Workspace Updates site – one announcing it, one in 2020 announcing it was generally available, and Thursday’s announcing it would be discontinued. It was once included in Google’s master list of apps that come with Workspace, according to the WayBack machine, but it appears to have been removed sometime in November 2021.
There is still a link to a Currents page in the footer of the Google Workspace page, but clicking it will take you to the Google Chat page. That feels like an insult to an injury, but if Ars Technica points out that the ultimate insult is that this is in fact the second time Google has shut down Google Plus. If the KilledByGoogle Twitter account vividly explained in 2020Currents was created when Google shut down its failed social network to public use (after discovering a major privacy flaw), but it needed to keep it for business users. Now Currents is no longer in this world, being replaced by what appears to be one of Google’s new favorite projects, Chats.
As a matter of fact, it’s also the second time Google has discontinued its product called Currents — before the current (ha) iteration, it was a magazine app. It’s a double whammy, even for a company known for project dumping.