The announcement was made alongside a statement from Google that user information had been exposed to a data leak, a vulnerability that had supposedly been around for years without any formal warning. A lawsuit has since been filed in San Francisco that includes several users who argue that Google’s “lax approach” to security with Google+ exposed their private details.
When Google+ debuted in 2011, it was a huge part of Google’s strategy to tap into the growing social media market. What the company didn’t anticipate is that millions of people were already set on using Facebook as their means of seeing daily fail videos and dangerous selfies on mountaintops and inside volcanoes, many of whom had already made a painful jump from MySpace during its collapse in popularity.
Google+ had a clean interface and a more notable name behind it when compared to Facebook but offered virtually no benefits to those who would have even considered adopting it as their primary social media platform. Not even Google’s own employees wanted to use the website; top executives jumped ship as far back as three years ago.
Naturally, it ended up struggling for years to maintain its dwindling user base.
We’re now over seven years from the original launch date and Google is being hit by a storm of negative press and lawsuits that make us wonder why it ever continued with Google+ after its rough early years. Few updates have been deployed to make it better, it hasn’t been weaponized for ads in any meaningful way, and the mere mention of it is commonly met with the phrase, “Oh yeah, I forgot that existed.”
For what it’s worth, rest in peace, Google+. Facebook needs a competitor, but apparently, you weren’t the chosen one, and that’s okay.