Google+ Now Shutting Down April 2, 2019
Google recently announced that they would be shutting down their social media platform Google+ in April of 2019. This new deadline is 4 months earlier than Google’s original plan to shut down the platform in August of 2019.
According to Google’s announcement, the decision to shut down the platform as a whole came in response to a bug that was discovered in the Google+ API. For 6 days, this bug made it so that certain personally identifiable information about Google+ users, like email address, age, name, etc., was provided to some apps, even if the user’s profile was not set to ‘public.’ Google’s investigation into this issue has discovered that about 52.5 million users were impacted by the bug in the Google+ API. This bug was not a result of third party tampering and Google found no evidence that any of the user data that had been accidentally accessed during this time has since been misused. However, Google’s discovery and resulting investigation into the bug made it apparent that they would not be able to continue providing a successful product and platform. It also brought to light the platform’s low usage statistics. Because of this, Google decided to expedite the discontinuation of the service as a whole.
Users with current Google+ profiles will have the option to download and save any important data they want to keep from their Google+ profile. It is going to be important for some users to download this data before April of 2019 because they will not be able to access their Google+ profile data at all after the shutdown occurs. Google is going to start deleting stored profile information as early as April 2, 2019.
Although Google+ usage as a whole was significantly less than other popular social media platforms, like Facebook or Imgur, this shutdown could potentially impact a business’s internet presence. The loss of the Google+ profiles means that businesses will have one less profile available for organic placement in search engine results pages. As a Google product, Google+ profiles could often receive consistently good organic placement. To combat this, businesses might have to create additional business profiles with other platforms or invest in PPC advertising for key search queries.
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