There was a time, not so long ago, when social media was new and fresh and the whole world was waiting to see what potential this new type of platform held. Facebook and Twitter sprinted to the front of the race, followed by others like Instagram, Pinterest and Reddit. Then, some time after these various sites proved the viability of social networks, Google decided to launch Google Plus.
It seemed like the thing to do at the time, but because so many people were already committed to other platforms, it just never really took hold. It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong positioning . Since then, Google+ has fought for a hold in the consumer-facing social media niche, only to continue to be rejected. Its own research shows that 90 percent of users spend less than five seconds interacting with their Google Plus accounts per session.
Is This Farewell to Google Plus?
Recently, Google admitted that it knew about a data breach back in March that affected hundreds of thousands of users, based on its own calculations.
These users were friends of friends who unknowingly exposed their data, even when accounts were set to private, to one of many third-party app publishers. All the initial user had to do was grant permissions to the app and their friends were also exposed.
Google claims the data was limited to optional Google Plus profile fields and that it immediately patched the bug when it was discovered in March 2018, but admits that there is no way to know how long the bug was a problem and, because it didn’t maintain logs for more than two weeks, cannot be certain who was affected. Because the search giant found no evidence that the data was used, it chose not to make the breach public.
On October 8, 2018, partially as a result of this data kerfuffle, partially because the company has come to a realization that no one is home on Google Plus for consumers, Google announced that Google Plus will start winding down. Over the next ten months, users will have a chance to say a last good-bye, collect their things (like their data) and see themselves out.
Google Plus: The Enterprise Edition
Considering that Google made such a heinous faux pas by allowing user data to be exposed and then not telling anyone about it, it may be hard to understand how Google Plus Business is such a popular product. Despite how little consumers seemed to be interested in their end of the platform, enterprise-level operations have widely adopted it to keep everyone, from entry-level employees to directors, informed about workplace happenings.
This, Google explains, is going to be the focus into the future. Good-bye users, hello businesses! Perhaps it’s simply more cost-effective to cut loose the languishing consumer side rather than to try to fix it yet again, while continually being rejected by the majority of the social media-going public.