Google today has announced that they are shutting down Google+, its social network that was launched over 7 years ago as a competitor to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
The reason that the company has decided to finally put the nail to the coffin on the largely unpopular social network is due to privacy issues.
The company did a review of its third party developer access to Google accounts and Android device data and found a bug in the Google + People APIs. This bug allowed apps that had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user but not marked as public.
Google says the were able to discover and immediately patch this bug in March of this year. They were not able to confirm which users were impacted by this but from detailed analysis, they found out that upto 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected.
The company also admitted the low engagement statistics of Google+. According to Google, 90% of Google+ user sessions were less than 5 seconds, which is strikingly low compared to other social networks.
“While our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption and has seen limited user interaction with apps,” they said in a statement.
It’s kind of anticlimatic that Google+ was killed off impetuously from a privacy scare. It was launched back in 2011 with a lot of hype and judging from the fact it was backed by a huge company which had other assets like YouTube, it seemed like it would have had a chance to grow. Well now Google will give its users 10 months to download and migrate their data and it will join Path and others in the list of failed social networking sites.