As part of Project Strobe, Google’s internal program to investigate APIs and security controls due to privacy concerns, the Mountain View company has announced that they will be shutting down Google+ for consumers. The shutdown will be done over the course of the next 10 months but the service will remain for Enterprise customers.
The news comes on the heals of a data breach that was reported by the Wall Street Journal in which hundreds of thousands of G+ users’ data was exposed. The issue was resolved back in March but had been kept under wraps.
The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.
It will bring an end to the latest of Google’s attempts to break into the social networking world, something they have continually been trying to unlock for years. But, it is not the only issue that Google will have to address coming out of their internal Project Strobe findings.
The investigation by Google found that a bug in the Google+ People APIs could allow for access to profiles that were not marked as public. This was patched in March of this year but Google did indicate that they could not confirm which users had been impacted by the bug.
The future of Google+ will be simply an Enterprise internal social network. The consumer version will be shutdown next year and users will have that time to download content from their profiles before it is shut down completely.
Google+ never really gained in popularity and, in fact, Google admits in the post about the shutdown that 90% of all G+ sessions last less than 5 seconds.