Google has started to shut down and delete all the accounts on their failed Google+ social network.
This marks the end of the company’s attempt to take the fight to social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. After an underwhelming eight years, the platform is being phased out due to low usage. What’s more, Google+ had also started to throw up security issues. Since last year, the company confirmed two significant data leaks that exposed the information of millions of users. The first breach, which was kept under wraps for months, caused Google to realize it was time to put Google+ out of its misery. However, the second breach has meant that the company has decided to accelerate the shutdown process, bringing the end date forward by four months from August to April.
Google has finally acknowledged that the social platform missed the mark when it came to growth and mainstream adoption. In a statement released in October, their Fellow and Vice President of Engineering, Ben Smith said:
“While our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps.”
Smith then went on to reveal a pretty bleak statistic for where the service is at today: “90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.”
When the platform first launched, Google attempted to stimulate uptake by forcing users to create an account to comment on other Google services like YouTube. The company also attempted to tie creating a Google+ account to Gmail – however, it was moves like this that turned users off the social network, associating it with inconvenience rather than usefulness. Ultimately, it seems like Google should have known better – people don’t tend to welcome having an unfamiliar product shoved down their throats, so it’s fairly safe to say Google dug their own grave with these tactics.
In the wake of these security lapses, Google has finally admitted defeat and is throwing in the towel on the social media game. Google says that the process of completely deleting all personal accounts will take a few months and users might see a few accounts left over while they finish the job. However, content deletion — including photos and videos in Google+ album archives — has started already, so make sure that all your pictures are moved over to your Google Drive.