The failed attempt of Google at a social media network to serve as a rival for Facebook is now set to shut down for good. The announcement comes after a data breach of the information of private users that prompted the search giant to toughen up its privacy policies.
Last March, while in the process of conducting a review of the platform, Google found and solved a bug that is exposed to third-party developers that meant that the apps were given access to the profile information even if it had not been marked as public. This included information such as name, occupation, email, address, age, and gender.
No information was found to be misused while the said breach was active, however, it is believed that approximately 500,000 users were affected. Google said that it had not seen it appropriate to notify any users of the breach, as none of the thresholds that require such an action was met in this instance.
The shares in Alphabet, the parent company of Google, closed down by 1 percent on Tuesday night.
Google+ will now continue to be operative only as an internal business network for subscribers to its G-Suite set of programmes. All public user profiles are set to close by next August.
In a blog post that was posted last Monday, Google said that the consumer version of Google+ only has limited usage and engagement these days. It added that 90 percent of the sessions on the site only lasted for less than five seconds.
The vice president of engineering of Google, Ben Smith, stated: “While our engineering teams have put a lot of effort into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps.”
He added: “The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.”