In a move that was widely unexpected to many of us here in the social media world, Google+ appears to be shutting down. Citing “significant challenges” the social network will be shutdown in the near future.
One massive nail to the coffin was the recent data leak that has affected 500k users, yes, half a million users have improperly been able to have their data accessed. This data includes data that weren’t set to public and applies to information such as full names, email addresses, date of birth, areas lived, occupations, profile photos, gender and more.
So, how did this happen?
It appears that the data was exposed due to a programming bug that allowed developers of apps to improperly access information not owned by them. Officials at Google remarked in this post about the technicalities that enabled this to happen in the first place.
Even worse is that Google has reportedly not opted to report the damage. Obviously this could very likely have caused massive reputational damage as well as invite further regulatory scrutiny, something of which has picked up interest lately.
So, that’s it for Google+ then?
Not entirely, the social network will still be able to be used by those that use it for their own private Google+ powered social networks (businesses, organizations, etc). The general public/consumers will not be able to access the main Google+ social network any longer.
We’ve always been fond of Google+ as well as other Google services. It is a bummer that we won’t be able to proceed with many of the integrations we’ve had planned for usage with the social network. But who knows, maybe it’s back to the drawing board for Google.