Google has announced that its shutting down Google+.
The ill-fated social network was Google’s attempt to take on Facebook. Although initially successfully — especially among the tech community — it offered little to differentiate itself. Most users were accustomed to and happy with enough with Facebook, and reluctant to sign up and learn a new system.
It seemed like just yesterday when many high profile social media gurus were going on “Twitter Diets” and migrating to Google+. How times have changed (and users have moved back to both Twitter and Facebook).
News that Google+ was shutting down came after a security bug resulted in user data being exposed. It could very well be that given the small amount of resources allocated to the struggling platform that Google management didn’t anticipate the maintenance requirements to keep Google+ secure, even though the user base had dropped so dramatically over the years. Others disagree, and see it as a reason to shutdown. As one user said as reported by CNBC:
“I’m peeved that they are using this security breach as an excuse,” said Dave Hill, who said he posts to the site four or five times a day. “I’m really ticked off at Google for squandering such a golden opportunity as Plus provided.”
Either way the demise of Google+ perhaps demonstrates the challenges of building a social network capable of taking on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Other past victims include Path (remember that?), which also recently shutdown. Then there’s Snapchat — a much-ballyhooed and publicly traded social network that is facing its own difficulties in scaling and monetizing its business.
RIP Google+ 2011-2018.