Why was Google+ shut down?

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Google’s biggest social media has been shut down on Tuesday, April 2. Here's everything you need to know about it

Why was Google+ shut down?

Google is one of the biggest technological enterprises and is the owner of two of the most used websites of the world: Google search engine and Youtube. Nevertheless, even the best in the industry can make errors. An example of this is its latest failure: Google+ shut down.

Leer en español: ¿Por qué se cerró Google+?

Why did they shut it down?

According to a post on their official blog, Google’s Vice president of Engineering, Ben Smith, explains that Google+ was one of the apps that reported errors in their checking with what they call Project Strobe. This project consists of  “a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps’ data access”.

The result of this was noticing a bug in one Google+’S APIs. The bug allowed third-party apps to access users’ information that was not shared publicly on their profile like e-mail, gender, address, and age. After their report, up to 500000 accounts were potentially affected, but there was no evidence that any developer had used that information.

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Smith also explains “that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps. The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds”.

This confirms that the bug was only the straw that broke the camel’s back, as Google+’s end had already been expected for years. Finally, it is important to note that the consumer’s version was closed, as the corporate one will still be available. “The company plans to keep the service alive for enterprise customers who use it to facilitate conversation among co-workers. New features will be rolled out for that use case” remarks The Verge.

A history of errors

When it was launched in June 2011, Google+ featured everything that every other social media had: photo posting and status updates on individual feeds. Afterward, their most popular features were Hangouts’ video calls and Circles, which let you sort your friends in groups.

According to the BBC, there were some fatal errors that Google made regarding how they managed their social media.

1) When they began, they had a strict real-name policy that did not let brands create their profile nor users have pseudonyms. Eventually, they solved this, but it had already had an effect.

2) They made it obligatory to have Google+ username to be able to comment on Youtube, which provoked fury on their users and creators, as they felt used to prop up Google+.

3) Google Hangouts and Photos were eventually disentangled from Google+, which made it even less popular.

4) On 2015, a new design focused on communities that failed to attract user’s attention.

 Finally, if you have a Google+ account, you should save every photo you have uploaded or information on any page that you created in there as it will all be deleted.


LatinAmerican Post | Juan Gabriel Bocanegra

Copy edited by Juliana Suárez

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