Google+ is shutting down

RIP Google PlusGoogle+ is joining Friendster and Orkut on the graveyard of failed social networks. Yesterday, Google announced that Google+ will be shut down.

The announcement was made following revelations by the Wall Street Journal that Google had covered-up a security flaw that may have exposed personal information of up to 500,000 users (for a full list of the type of data that may have been exposed, click here), though Google says that they have no evidence of anyone actually taking advantage of the issue.

A few thoughts:

  • The bug was discovered and patched in March 2018, i.e. before the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. Under GDPR, Google would have had to disclose the leak. Consciously and deliberately failing to do so would have risked very harsh fines (up to 2% of Google’s turnover). To me this is yet more proof that GDPR is a good thing because I don’t think Google would have dared to remain silent about this under GDPR rules. (And no, “good” and “annoying” are not mutually exclusive categories.)
  • It is not exactly news that Google+ wasn’t successful, but it was still interesting to read that average consumer interaction with the service was less than five seconds. Ouch.
  • Google is saying that they will wind down Google+ over the next ten months to give people time to download their data, etc. I find that a little bit scary since I would imagine that Google+ will not receive a lot of attention by Google engineers over that period – and won’t that increase the risk of additional security flaws being exploited?

For non-profit social media managers this just means that we have one less social network to worry about. Though, honestly, did anyone really spend a lot of time worrying about Google+?

What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below!

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