A security bug in Google Plus that exposed 52.5 million user accounts has led to Google advancing the date of closure of its social media foray to April 2019.
Additionally, the tech behemoth announced that all Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days.
Google’s grand gaffe
In October this year, a security bug in Google Plus enabled third-party personnel to access user data all the way back to 2015. Google, caught napping, discovered the vulnerability and patched it only in March 2018.
What led to further embarrassment for the internet giant was the fact that the vulnerability wasn’t disclosed at the time of discovery.
Google’s gaffe shot into the spotlight owing to the sheer magnitude of the vulnerability and due to the fact that hackers were able to access users’ friends’ non-public profiles. Nearly half a million users’ names, email IDs, birth dates and nationalities were exposed.
A major factor behind concealing the breach, as reported by TechCrunch, was the manner in which Google saw Facebook being dragged through the muck during the Cambridge Analytica fiasco.
A social media sortie that never really took off
Google admitted that despite massive investments in development and engineering, Google Plus had not achieved widespread consumer or developer adoption.
Morgan Knutson, a developer who worked on Google Plus revealed in his tweet that the team lacked a specific vision, and was merely created to rival its way more successful counterpart, Facebook. He went on to reveal that the numerous teams working to develop Google Plus were not in unison with each other. In addition to this, the former top leadership's product vision was also brought to the spotlight.
Vic’s product vision was fear-based. “Google built the knowledge graph, and Facebook swooped in and built the social graph. If we don’t own the social graph then we can’t claim to have indexed ALL the world’s data.”
— Morgan (@morganknutson) October 12, 2018
Everything being produced felt disjointed or siloed. Not part of the whole,” is how he explained it.
Given Google Plus’ downward trajectory, coupled with the massive data breach incident, it comes as no surprise the parent company is cutting loose the deadweight and minimising losses.