Minus Plus

It’s as good a time as any to call it a day:

Google plans to shutter its Google+ social network for consumers, citing its limited adoption with users. The tech giant announced the decision at the same time that it disclosed that the privacy of up to a half-million Google+ accounts could have been affected by a “bug.”

The company says it discovered and patched the issue in March but decided not to disclose it immediately. It said it had no evidence that any third-party developer was aware of the bug or had misused profile data.

Still, timing is everything:

“They were worried about the repercussions of coming forward with this information,” [Wall Street] Journal reporter Douglas MacMillan told NPR. “Earlier this year, right at the time they discovered this, the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data breach had just happened, there’s a lot of regulator scrutiny of Facebook and tech companies and how they’re handling data, and internally, they were worried about being pulled into this conversation in a bigger way.”

This is not the first social network Google has killed, either; Orkut, a service developed by a Google employee in his spare time, was put out of its misery in 2014.

6 comments »

  1. Roger O Green »

    10 October 2018 · 1:23 pm

    I had it. But I never knew why, really.

  2. fillyjonk »

    10 October 2018 · 2:03 pm

    next thing you know, they’ll be talking about the “Alphabet Curse” – that any thing they start up in the realm of social media, it winds up dying.

  3. CGHill »

    10 October 2018 · 4:24 pm

    Well, they didn’t start Orkut, but they definitely finished it.

  4. McGehee »

    10 October 2018 · 4:34 pm

    Hey Google! Buy Twitter and Facebook!

  5. In The Mailbox: 10.10.18 : The Other McCain »

    10 October 2018 · 7:25 pm

    […] Dustbury: Minus Plus […]

  6. Rob O'Hara »

    11 October 2018 · 6:58 am

    I signed up for Google+, but never fully adopted it for two main reasons: Google’s Picasa, and Google Reader — two other Google products that I adopted, grew to love, and were fully vested in before Google pulled the plug. Google has shown that they are great at producing usable products, but they’re also shown that if they can’t find a way to monetize them, they’re willing to shut them down just as quickly.

    The other problem that Google+ had from the start was that it didn’t offer much that Facebook doesn’t do. The concept of “circles” was interesting, but didn’t’ scale particularly well. And as with any social media platform, the number one problem is always wide adoption. Say what you will about Facebook, but success begets success — people go to where the people are, an it’s tough to see what will eventually replace it.

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