In the wake of a software bug discovered in March of 2018 that exposed sensitive user data to third parties, search giant Google has since announced that it will be discontinuing its Google+ social platform.
Approximately 438 apps are thought to have unlawfully accessed private user data via APIs. The type of data exposed included names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, etc of nearly 500,000 Google+ accounts.
To curb the security issue, Google will limit developers’ access to data on Android devices and Gmail.
Google explains that the reason for the decision to shut down Google+ was purely due to the fact that since its launch in 2011 it has failed to gain transaction with users. Specifically, over 90% of sessions last less than five seconds.
But to many the move still seems a bit brash (considering that there are Google+ communities with over 200,000 followers – all whom will be shut down). Some speculate that the data breach was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
On a more positive note, Google has said it will still keep the Google+ platform available to Enterprise Gsuite users (so that organizations can continue to have internal comms).
So in reality this isn’t the death of Google+ after all, more like a transformation; serving for the good of businesses everywhere.
Google will sunset the consumer version of Google+ over a 10 month period under the name of Project Strobe.
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