- Google began deleting user accounts from its Google+ social network this week.
- Among the accounts that got deleted were those of Google’s own executives.
- In addition to providing important records about company history, the lost Google+ accounts were a rich trove of information about the people running Google; sometimes silly and whimsical, other times eerily foreboding.
- Business Insider took screenshots of some of the best posts by Google execs to ensure that they wouldn’t be lost to time.
Google+, the search giant’s failed attempt to create a Facebook-killing social network, officially died this week.
The company began deleting user accounts, permanently erasing profiles, photos and other content posted on the social network – including the profile pages of Google’s own executives.
The purge of Google+ accounts from the likes of Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, current CEO Sundar Pichai, and former CEO Eric Schmidt means that important company announcements and insights into the company’s decision-making process are gone from the public record.
That’s a significant loss and it’s raising concerns among advocates of corporate accountability, journalists and people interested in preserving history.
It also means that the sillier posts from Google’s top brass, as well as posts that are now eerily ironic years later, have vanished from the public view as well.
Luckily, before these accounts were deleted on Tuesday, Business Insider snagged some screenshots of the finest posts from Google executives we could find.
Take a look:
Google co-founder Larry Page was the initial champion of the Google+ social network. To encourage its growth, he led by example and shared things like his favourite pancake recipe.
The background image for Page’s profile during the entirety of Google+’s 8-year existence was this raccoon — we’re not sure why.
Sergey Brin, the other Google cofounder, liked to use Google+ to share snapshots of his extreme lifestyle.
Brin also once skydived onto the roof of San Francisco’s Moscone Center, livesteaming it with Google Glass, to kick of the company’s annual developer conference.
Larry Page had some action shots of his own to share. Here he is kiteboarding in Alaska.
And here’s Larry Page’s Halloween costume.
Even the cofounder of a company worth hundreds of billions of dollars likes to post selfies. Sergey Brin appears to be near the Alcedo volcano, in the Galapagos islands.
Like many visitors to the Galapagos, Sergey Brin was fascinated by the giant sea turtles that roam the islands.
Brin’s obsession with the turtles is reflected in many photos that graced his Google+ page…
…Maybe too many photos.
Brin was a big believer in Google Glass, a face-worn computer that never quite caught on with consumers.
Here, Brin is featured in a photo wearing Google Glass in a post by another famous former Googler, Anthony Levandowski.
Levandowski was one of the early pioneers of Google’s self driving car project, which was originally run out of the Google X lab.
Levandowski would later become famous for his role at the center of a trade-theft lawsuit, in which Google accused him of stealing valuable self-driving car technology and taking it to rival company Uber.
When Levandowski was still at Google and posting on Google+ however, he shared an interesting run-in with law enforcement officials.
Larry Page shared posts about improving women’s representation in tech.
Google has recently faced criticism for the way it handles claims of sexual harassment. According to a lawsuit, reported on by Bloomberg, Page personally approved a $US150 million payout to Andy Rubin while Rubin was under investigation for sexual misconduct.
Amit Singhal, one of Google’s top executives, left Google in 2016 amid accusations that he sexually harassed a female subordinate.
Singhal, who has denied the allegations, was awarded a $US45 million exit package by Google, according to a lawsuit.
On his Google+ page, Singhal discussed the importance of women in tech.
When Singhal left Google, he took to Google+ to say goodbye. The allegations of sexual harassment were not publicly known at the time.
Before Sundar Pichai became Google’s CEO, he was an up-and-coming SVP. You could get a sense of his thoughts and personality by visiting his Google+ page.
And his sense of humour.
Eric Schmidt, who served as CEO and Chairman at various points in his Google tenure, was also a Google+ user.
When Google restructured itself into a holding company called Alphabet, the news was shared by Larry Page on Google+.=
Maybe if they renamed the social network Alphabet+ it might had a more successful fate?
Sergey Brin had lots of pictures of a trip he took on a Zeppelin.
It turns out that Brin has a big interest in Zeppelins and blimps. In 2017 Bloomberg reported that Brin was secretly building a giant airship at a hangar in Moffet Field.
Business Insider later reported than Brin’s secret blimp company is called“LTA Research & Exploration, LLC”. “LTA” is a common acronym for “Lighter Than Air”, a type of aircraft filled with gas that floats rather than flies.
Before Waymo was created as a standalone company, Google’s self-driving cars were just a project within Google. Here’s a throwback to what the cars used to look like, shared by Brin.
And a throwback to the cartoon-like logo that Google once used to brand the effort.
Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, shared a post about the Wall Street Journal column she wrote about maternity leave.
And of course, no social network would be complete without baby photos! Susan Wojcicki posted a pic of her own days as a baby in the 1960s.
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