Google plus was introduced in 2011 as a rival to the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and similar other platforms. Though Google is the biggest of the bigger tech Giant, Google+ failed to gain popularity. Google plus has the features including the ability to post photos and status updates to individuals or the communities build on the platform by number of people who have been using the social networking feature by Google.
Now after 7 years of existence and Google’s unmeasurable efforts and backing to bring Google+ (plus.google.com) up and boost it, finally Google has given up on Google+. Google announced that it is shutting down Google+ showing the low user engagement though which is definitely not the exact reason for such a big decision to be taken. Google wrote on its blog that it will be closing its consumer version of Google+ over the next 10 months. The decision is followed by the revelation of a previously undisclosed security flaw that exposed users’ profile data.
Reasons Behind Google Plus Shutting Down
Google posted on its blog about Project Strobe which isn’t a piece of hardware or a service/product, but simply an effort to review and further strengthen privacy and security across all of their products, including the third-party APIs, services, Android and many more. And one thing that is put forward by the project strobe that Google+ is no longer worth maintaining.
Google stated that Google+ has had extremely low user base. Google+ sessions, almost 90% of them are under 5 seconds and it is enough for Google to take decision to shut down the Google Plus. With such high bounce rate, it definitely is not benefiting to keep the service running given that it has lost its popularity.
Another detonating factor behind its demise is a bug in their Google+ People APIs, which exposed data of over 500,000 users and was promptly patched in March 2018. As Facebook was coming under global scrutiny over the harvesting of personal data for Cambridge Analytica, Google discovered a bug in the APIs for Google+ that had been allowing third-party app developers to access the data not just of users who granted the permission but of their friends too.
The situation is similar to the incident that dragged Mark Zuckerberg in front of the US Congress. But Google decided not to disclose the incident in order to avoid the public relations headache and potential regulatory enforcement.
Facebook CEO, was dragged in front of the law enforcement following the incident of harvesting the personal data for Cambridge Analytica. It is no brainer to understand why Google had been keeping the leak out of the public eyes. Google stayed quiet about the security issue as it didn’t appear that anyone had gained access to information. Up to 438 applications made by other companies may have had access through the coding links called API. The outside developers could have seen user names, email addresses, occupation, gender and age, though they might not have access to phone numbers, messages, Google Plus posts, or data from other Google accounts as the company stated.
However, Google says that there is no evidence that developers were aware of this bug and there is also no evidence that any data has been misused. Google has been criticized that unlike Facebook’s CEO being brought before US Congress, Google had been keeping back Mr. Sundar Pichai back from facing the law enforcements.
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Google Plus Closing Dates
Google will be closing down Google+ but the process is not going to be immediate. In order to give people a full opportunity to transition. The social network will be shut down over the course of months. The process is expected to complete by August 2019. The service is going to shut down only for the consumers but will continue to entertain the corporate business entities who has Google+ as the communication medium in their office.
Currently, Google has no replacement for the Google+ in mind. The company has made the decision that Google+ is better suited as an internal social network for companies. Google will be announcing the new Enterprise-focused products for Google+ in the coming future.
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Company has decided that Google+ will be shutdown, given the dates and appropriate time to migrate from Google+. It will definitely be a thing to watch how the people are going to migrate and what Google has rolled up in their sleeves for the enterprise-focused Google+ and other service like Google+ for the replacement as consumer level social networking site.