Google is shutting down the consumer version of its social media network Google+ today, focusing instead on its application for businesses.
The tech giant has been “sunsetting” the product for months, announcing its demise for consumers in December last year with the deletion of all personal accounts and pages completing today.
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Google has said the closure is “due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations”.
Google+ accounts for users of G Suite users, which is Google’s collection of apps for businesses, will remain active and get an upgrade, functioning as an internal instant messaging service.
The move to close down Google+ for consumers was expedited following a bug in a software upgrade last year that allowed apps to view users’ profile information – including their name and email – even if it the account was not public.
Google fixed the bug, but initially failed to tell users about the potential compromise, although it said it had “no evidence” that app developers were aware of the bug or that they had “misused” it.
Google+ was set up in 2011 as a rival to Facebook. Within a year of launching it boasted 90m users.
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