Goodbye Google Plus

Google Plus has long been characterised as a social media ghost town, its primary importance seen as contributing to Google search results. So it’s with a whimper rather than a bang that we share AdWeek;s report of the latest news from the Googleplex:

Google is shutting down the long-dormant consumer arm of its social network for good.

The decision, announced in a company blog post this week, comes after a heretofore unrevealed internal probe this spring found a security glitch that exposed Google Plus user data. The search giant remedied the vulnerability this March, but it fretted about making the flaw public for fear of getting caught in the narrative around rival Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica breach, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A Google spokesperson offered a differing account in a statement, saying that its data protection team had decided that there was no need to inform consumers since it didn’t appear that any “misuse” had occurred and no discernible pool of users had been affected.

Google Plus began its short, sweet and not overly social life in 2011, more in response to the growing popularity of Facebook et al. rather than because of any overwhelming desire by Google to provide social sustenance to its users. After many pivots, twists and turns, Google Plus ended up as a place where you posted content in order to get noticed by Google Search rather than other users.

Even Google tired of the game eventually.

Michael Carney Written by: