Google+ and What Happened
First of all lets get started on what Google+ was…
Google+, sometimes pronounced as Google Plus, G+, or G-Plus, was an Internet-based social network owned and operated by Google Inc.. The network was launched on June 28, 2011 which replaced Google Buzz in the attempt to challenge other social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Myspace, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Vimeo and it was designed to link Google’s products like Blogger and YouTube. However, these competitive plans by Google via Google Wave (2009–2010), Google Buzz (2010–2011) and Google+ (Non-G-Suite version) (2011–2019) were never successful and were completely shut down as a result.
The service, Google’s fourth foray into social networking, experienced strong growth in its initial years, although usage statistics have varied, depending on how the service was defined. Three Google executives oversaw the service, which underwent substantial changes that led to a redesign in November 2015.
Due to low user engagement and disclosed software design flaws that potentially allowed outside developers access to personal information of its users, the Google+ developer API was discontinued on March 7, 2019 and Google+ was shut down for business use and consumers on April 2, 2019. It is still in use as Google+ for Enterprise for internal corporate social networks who are users of G-Suite.
Google+ appears to have been performing badly as Google took the decision in late 2018 to close Google+ down for consumers, see below
On October 8, 2018, Google announced it would be ending the consumer version of Google+ in August 2019, later changing that date to April 2, 2019. The company cited low user engagement and difficulties in “creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations”, noting that 90% of user sessions on the service lasted less than five seconds. It also acknowledged a design flaw in an API that could expose private user data. Google said it found no evidence that “any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API” or that “any Profile data was misused.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the data exposure was discovered in the spring of 2018, and was not reported by the company because of fears of increased regulatory scrutiny. The newspaper said that “the move effectively puts the final nail in the coffin of a product that was launched in 2011 to challenge Facebook, and is widely seen as one of Google’s biggest failures.”
On December 10, 2018, Google reported that a subsequent Google+ API update exposed customer data for six days before being discovered, again saying there was no evidence of any breach. The bug allowed outside developers access to personal information of users. Over 52.5 million users were affected. The company moved the service’s shutdown date to April 2019 and said it would “sunset all Google+ APIs in the next 90 days.”
Google says that Google+ will still be open for G Suite users.
We hope you understand more about the shutdown of Google+.