Google Announces Sunsetting of Google+

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Yesterday Google announced it’s sunsetting the Google+ social network for consumers over the coming months. This comes after disclosing that it found a security bug that allowed the 438 apps using the API to access personal profile information such as name, email, age, gender, birthday and relationship status. Nearly 500,000 users were potentially exposed. Google claims that there’s no evidence of malicious use of this data.

While Google has been able to steer clear of the privacy firestorm surrounding Facebook, this issue could push the search giant into an unwelcome spotlight. Not only did the bug expose user data, a report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that Google chose not to disclose the bug to the public.

Ultimately, this has forced Google to shut down Google+ for consumers because it’s a company liability and has failed to achieve widespread adoption.

Google says it will still be investing in Google+ for enterprise customers, where Google says it is “seeing growth and our customers are seeing great value.” This continued investment appears to be focused on enhancing the internal communication experience for enterprise users.

What does this mean for brands with Google+ accounts?

  • Google+ pages will go away in the next 10 months. Check to see if your brand pages still exist and weren’t deleted for being orphaned.
  • Many Google+ Pages for businesses that are inactive may have been shuttered while others may have been automatically pulling data from Google My Business.
  • With all of the confusion over the years about Google+, Google+ Local, Google+ Business, Google+ shutting down should not affect anything in Google My Business.

We’ll be following up when Google announces how users can download their data and content in the coming months.

 

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