We Have Finally Reached the End of the Google Plus Experiment.
October 8th, 2018 the end of the experiment known as Google Plus met its fate. Designed to compete with Facebook as a community interface in the social media world, Google Plus was doomed to meet its end almost as soon as it began.
As a social media marketing company we have many years of experience using Google Plus. We have always used the Google Plus platform to build natural links for SEO. It was a useful tool for that purpose, but on a social level we never really used it. We were not alone. Did you?
Google said it would shut down Google Plus because of a vulnerability within the platform. The flaw could have exposed the private data of up to 500,000 users. Behind the scenes Google had quietly fixed the problem. Google insisted “it had found no evidence that outside developers were aware of the security flaw and no indication that any user profiles were touched.” The flaw was fixed in an update made in March of 2018.
Why didn’t they make the decision to shut Google Plus down then?
In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, they warned that disclosing the problem would invite regulatory scrutiny by Congress. Security breaches like the one faced by Facebook have historically made users skin crawl. Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai maybe called to testify in front of Congress if a breach were to be found. Google’s worst nightmare would be to sit on Capitol Hill. The last thing they would want would be to have to testify like Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Then they planned on eventually shutting the platform down. That move was hastened by the Wall Street Journal article coming out. The need for urgency became necessary.
Google made significant changes to their platform ahead of a new European privacy law. A law that went into effect in May of 2018. It requires that all companies notify regulators of breaches in the personal user data within 72 hours of discovery. If there were to be a vulnerability discovered in the future Google must disclose it by law. Even if no data was found to be compromised.
In the United States Privacy Laws Are Changing
In California a piece of legislation was passed a privacy law. The new law will go into effect in 2020. This means that Digital media giants like Google, Facebook, and others will be responsible in the event of a data breach. Plaintiffs can sue for up to $750 for each privacy violation. The new California legislation goes a step further. It allows the state’s attorney general the right to go after companies for intentional violations of privacy too. This is the first of many that will be passing at the State level. In the future we may be seeing this on a national level much like the new European law.
If this vulnerability had been used, and the half a million users data was compromised after the California law goes into effect, Google could have owed each Google Plus user $750 per violation. That adds up quickly. Think about that math. One breach of half a million users would cost the tech giant a cool $375 million dollars alone.
Our lives are become more and more digital. Protecting our data become more and more vital. The Google Plus platform’s value as a pure social network has been of minimal impact for most users. Google Plus has about 34 million unique visitors per month. However, when you look at the number of active users it is not that impressive. There are roughly 395 million supposedly active Google Plus accounts. Which means only about 12% of the platforms users were active on the platform anyway.
Essentially, Google looked at the platform and realized they could spend millions re-developing the platform or simply avoid the hassle. I think Google decided to stick to what it is good at, search. Why dump money into a dying venture? Smart move Google. Smart Move.
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What You Need to Know About the "End" of Google Plus
We Have Finally Reached the End of the Google Plus Experiment. October 8th, 2018 the end of the experiment known as Google Plus met its fate. Designed to compete with Facebook as a community interface in the social media world, Google Plus was doomed to meet its end almost as soon as it began. As a social media marketing company we have many years of experience using Google Plus. We have