… And who cares?
How many of us have predicted the demise of Google+? Over the years, the ill-fated social network wasn’t ever able to gain much traction.
Its “hangouts” and “rooms” functionality, trumpeted with great fanfare when launched, never really amounted to much. The few times I attempted to engage with people in any of those spaces, it was akin to being the only person in a restaurant at 3:00 in the afternoon.
Several months ago, Google finally bowed to the inevitable and announced that it would be shuttering Google+, effective in August 2019.
But even this end-date has turned out to be star-crossed. In one final ignominy, Google discovered a bug in a Google+ API which appears to have affected potentially more than 52 million users.
Specifically, apps that have requested permission to view the profile information that users had added to their Google+ profiles – basic things like name, age, occupation and e-mail address – were granted permission to do so even when the users’ profiles weren’t set to “public.”
On a brighter note, the bug didn’t allow access to more sensitive information such as financial figures, passwords, or similar data typically used for identity theft, nor does it appear that any of the personal information has been misused – at least not yet.
But as a result of discovering this bug, Google has now decided to shut down the Google+ social platform this coming April – four months earlier than planned.
So, what we have is that the final exit of Google+ from the scene further underscores its underwhelming existence. As Ben Smith, a Google vice president of engineering, stated candidly, the social platform “has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption and has seen limited user interaction with apps.”
Which is another way of saying, “It’s been a failure.”
And while a few souls may be lamenting its demise, for the vast majority of people, the platform expired years ago.
What about you? Did you ever engage with this social media network? And if you did, what was your experience. Most tellingly, when did you cease you interaction?
One thought on “The ignominious end of Google+.”
Google+ misunderstood the nature of natural monopoly.
Facebook became the go-to site, having achieved universality first under Marc Zuckerberg (even if the Winklevoss twins invented it), precisely because one assumes everyone in the world will be on it. The moment one tries to replicate the site, one dilutes the whole point of having just one place to look.
Facebook is like an electrical socket in the wall or the qwerty keyboard. We could have different kinds of electrical plugs, but there is no point in it. And surely some scientist could set up a typing keyboard with a different arrangement of letters, perhaps more efficient than the qwerty system we have all used for more than a century. But the act of changing would be disruptive, and the need for everyone to relearn how to touch-type would overshadow any benefit gained.
So Google, get real! Facebook got there first! Not everything in California needs a sequel!