In an unexpected blog posted today, Google revealed it was closing the rather unpopular social network Google+.
The move came amid news that the firm may have failed to disclose a data-exposing security bug presumed to have reached hundreds of thousands of accounts.
The company cited the reason of the closure as the fact that Google+ had failed to achieve "broad consumer or developer adoption." However, many were quick to point out the announcement came after The Wall Street Journal reported the bug and said Google opted not to disclose it to avoid regulatory scrutiny and reputational damages.
A March 2018 bug
Google addressed the breach in its post saying it "discovered and immediately patched" a bug in March 2018. The bug was reported to have potentially allowed app developers to access profile data from even private accounts.
Those who are very panicked may find solace in the fact that Google did state that the firm only keeps API log data for two weeks. This time frame is so little that Google could not confirm which users were impacted by the incident.
Google said that a detailed analysis ran over two weeks prior to patching the bug revealed "the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts" may have been potentially affected. However, the firm "found no evidence that any Profile data was misused."
New security measures
The tech giant also further elaborated on the security measures it was now implementing. "Our goal is to support a wide range of useful apps, while ensuring that everyone is confident that their data is secure. By giving developers more explicit rules of the road, and helping users control your data, we can ensure that we keep doing just that," reads the blog.
For those wanting to save their Google+ data before the network sunsets, this can be done through Google Takeout while logged in with your Google account. Not all of your Google+ experience is currently included but that should probably change soon.
Despite the breach, it is still sad to see to the social network go. Although not the most-liked platform, Google+ did provide a space for artists worldwide whether their landscapes were art, photography or even food.
Farewell Google+! You will be missed.
Take a look at beautiful Bahrain through the photography of Jaina Mistry in the 'Bahrain in Photos' collection. Jaina uses light and colors in a wonderful way to bring this collection together. https://t.co/cErYUrscGM pic.twitter.com/CaZgoZqlvJ— GooglePlus (@GooglePlus) August 17, 2018