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Google Shuts Down Google+ After Data Leak

Dave Parrack 09-10-2018

Google is shutting down Google+, at least for consumers. The company announced the move after reports that a security bug had led to hundreds of thousands of people having their data exposed. And partly as a result of this, Google+ is getting the chop.


Google+ Suffers a Data Leak

As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Google potentially exposed the data of hundreds of thousands of people with Google+ accounts. And while the number of people actually using Google+ on a regular basis is low, plenty have dormant accounts.

The WSJ further alleges that Google opted not to disclose the issue over “fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage”. This is based on an internal memo which mentions Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal Facebook Addresses the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Facebook has been embroiled in what has come to be known as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. After staying silent for a few days, Mark Zuckerberg has now addressed the issues raised. Read More .

Google Is Shutting Down Google+

Within minutes of the WSJ story appearing, Google had published an article about Project Strobe on The Keyword. Project Strobe being “a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data”.

Google admits there was “a bug in one of the Google+ People APIs” that meant apps “had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user”. Google patched the bug in March 2018 but “the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected.”


Based on this, and the fact that “the consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement” Google+ will be shut down over the next 10 months, and completely disappear by August 2019. Giving people plenty of time to move to pastures new.

Google+ Lives on for Businesses

While Google is committed to shutting down Google+ for consumers, it has decided to carry on offering it to enterprise customers. So if you’re business currently uses Google+ expect new features coming your way in the not-too-distant future.

Google+ never lived up to its potential, and has ended up as just another in a long line of Google social media fails Google's Plus: The Latest in Long Line of Social Flops Google's history of launching social network is a series of failures. Read More . Still, there are so many other social media platforms to choose from 5 Lit Social Media Apps for Teenagers Looking for the hottest social media apps for teenagers? Then check out these popular apps that make Facebook look ancient. Read More , will anyone even miss Google+? I’d forgotten it still existed, to be honest.

Image Credit: Yuri Samoilov/Flickr

Related topics: Google, Google Plus, Online Security.

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  1. BeedleTheBard
    October 11, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Being an ardent Google+ user, I find this news saddening. What's much more saddening is how many people mock Google+ including this writer: "I’d forgotten it still existed, to be honest". MakeUseOf owns an active G+ account, so I thought they wouldn't deride it.
    "There are so many other social media platforms to choose from." None of them will give the same feel as G+. On G+, many people used to share things like nature photography and not show off their own glorious lives, like they do on other social networks. If Google can continue running it for enterprises, why can't they continue the site for other users or "consumers"? Shutting down a service because of a breach and instead shifting the blame on low usage is irresponsible.

    • Daniel Escasa
      October 16, 2018 at 5:22 am

      G+ never got any love from MUO. And like you, I won't find any communities in a single site like G+