Google has announced recently that it is going to shut down its social networking platform Google Plus. This came as a shock for the internet users who never thought that Google would take a loss in the social networking industry. There were many who thought that Google would revamp Google Plus to compete with Facebook, Twitter, and others. Instead, this move came out of the blue. Well, going by Google’s past record, this is not really surprising as they have shut down Orkut which is a great social media messaging platform. Almost all the Google Plus users are pissed with the move, and they still use the platform regularly especially for official works. In reality, this announcement from Google came a massive data exposure happened on the platform as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Reasons Why Google Took The Step –
There are certain rumors that Google Plus is going to shut down due to lack of internet from the users. This data exposure report was the last nail in the coffin. During the announcement, Google officials said that even since the launch of the platform, it could not leave up to their expectation. In the last few years, the engagement is negligible for the existing user accounts. In fact, there are some reports suggesting that over 90% of the Google+ users sessions lasted less than five seconds. After the recent corned over Google+ API, the company has decided to do away with Google Plus completely over the next ten months.
Bug In API –
Google has found out a major bug in the Google+ API by which different third-party apps can access data from Google+ profiles not only from the public profile but also the private ones. These data include personal data like name, email, gender, age, occupation and likewise. However, none of the posts are included in this data exposure. It is revealed in the report that Google patched the bug back in March on this year, but it did not inform the users to make them panic and run away from the platform instantly.
They are said that Google Plus is still popular among Enterprise users and therefore, they will continue with the companies and close it down for the consumers. The decision came from Project Strobe which is Google’s internal investigation for the third-party developers. The privacy and security concerns were flagged, and Google was looking for a way to close it down anyway. To be specific, The New York Times reported that over 500,000 users’ data were exposed.
Low Usage And Engagement –
Google reported through its official blog that another major reason for closing it down for the consumers is the absence of the consumers. It is true that Google Plus wanted to be different from others but it was poorly designed, and its lack of user-friendly design and features killed it. If you see Facebook, it keeps on updating its features, designs, and functionalities with time. Therefore, nobody cared to come back to Google Plus and keep it running side by side. With time Google Plus could not survive the steep competition, and naturally, it had to perish. That explains why there is low usage.
On top of that, the engagement of the users who use Google Plus occasionally is very low. It is as low as less than 5 seconds. This means that those users use Google Plus only via third-party apps like login through Google+ and likewise. Therefore, there is no actual significance of the platform to those users, and those users contribute over 90% of the total users. When there is no demand, there should not be any supply, and hence, the decision was taken.
There are many who believe that the data exposure could not be stopped by Google and therefore, shutting is down is the only option. There are over 400 apps which have taken advantage of this loophole and got the data of the users which they used for their marketing or sold to marketing agencies. Blocking access to those apps will affect other Google services and therefore, shutting down is the only way out.
Google Plus will be closed for the consumers while it will still be available for the Enterprise users. There is high doubt how many enterprise users are there and will be left after the recent data exposure issue. Even though it is a shocking news, it should not be affecting many as most of the most do not even use the platform anymore. This goes on to show that the brand name does not really matter, what really matters is the quality of the product at the end of the day. The company is also updating the security and privacy policies of other Google services as it was embarrassing for the company of its stature to get exposed.