On Monday 8th of October, Google Inc announced plans to ‘slowly’ retire google plus. The social networking site was launched in 2011 with so much fun-fare. After just 7 years of operation, the Big boys at Google has decided to retire the platform. From my findings, Google cited two reasons for the proposed action. One, Google found a bug that divulged personal data of users, two, the platform has low usage and engagement as 90% of each session last under five seconds.
Google plus is the company fourth attempt of breaking into the social networking circle, following Google friend connect(2008-2012), Google Buzz(2010-2011) and Orkut (2004-2014). Launched in June 2011, features included the ability to post photos and status updates to the stream or interest-based communities, group different types of relationships (rather than simply “friends”) into Circles, a multi-person instant messaging, text and video chat called Hangout, events, location tagging, and the ability to edit and upload photos to private cloud-based albums.
According to reports, the company fixed the bug flaw exposing users personal data in March 2018 and didn’t find any evidence that developers misused users’ personal information. However, it is very unlikely that the platform will be missed by its users as most page views are just a few seconds long and insignificant. While Google plus has some exciting features that connect users around the world, including the ability to create “circles”, it does not appear in the e-marketing’s ranking of the top U.S social networking sites by user penetration which shows Facebook and Instagram leading the pack.
With the increasing number of social networking sites, consumers are less patient, and it seems that Google plus did not provide enough value to attract and maintain a loyal user base.
At the moment it is unclear whether Google violated regulations. Many questions begging for answers. Are we going to be seeing another tech executive facing the United State Senate committee? Let wait and see.
PS: Google announced it would shut down the consumer version of Google Plus by the end of August 2019.