- Sep 3, 2014
As usual, Google pumped out Google Plus as a bandwagon product just in case it catched on. They tried to incentivize tech users to adopt it early (there were some nice SERP boosts you could get out of Google+ with their hashtags that went completely unacknowledged). But paying for friends means you never have any real friends.
The current word on the street is that Google+ is shutting down as a consumer product. It will be refocused as an enterprise product. Probably some kind of "get your entire company on here and chat and have profiles." Who knows. They should just shut the door on it for good.
This is all coming out because it turns out Google had a security bug in Google+ that let all 3rd party developers get your user profile date. This bug existed from some time in 2015 until March of 2018. They could get your private and public profile data and that of all of your friends:
- Full names
- Email addresses
- Birth dates
- Profile photos
- Places lived
- Relationship status
The real kicker is that, according to an internal memo, they chose not to inform the public about the bug because they didn't want to come under fire alongside Facebook during the election (who were just hacked recently, exposing 50 million accounts). But this was the exact same issue. They gave apps unfettered access to everything (selling data). So instead they covered it up.
To fix their errors they are going to sacrifice Google+ to satiate the masses and are expected to announce a boatload of privacy reforms soon, including restricting Apps and Add-ons to all their products to a small number of developers.
The funniest part of all of this is that the data got out that 90% of Google+ sessions were less than 5 seconds. That's basically all bots and scripted activities to self-promote on there, I'd say.