Google+, the social network you never knew existed but nevertheless drew hundreds of millions of users via forced adoption, has shut down after launching in 2011.
In a blog post published on Monday, Google admitted that “there are significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ product that meets consumers’ expectations.” That finding was immediately followed by an action: “We are shutting down Google+ for consumers.”
Two main reasons were cited for the platform’s grounding: a data breach that potentially affected up to 500,000 Google+ accounts, and the fact that literally no one was using it. According to Google, 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds. That means people have about as much patience for Google+ as they do for pop-up ads while they’re illegally streaming sports.
The data breach was the result of third-party apps, via the API, having access to profile fields that were shared with users, but not marked as public. A little concerning, though still a long shot from the public distrust Facebook is dealing with.
“Our Privacy & Data Protection Office reviewed this issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response,” said Google in the blog post. “None of these thresholds were met in this instance.”
And so, Google+ officially becomes the digital ghost town it had been all along.