You know how Google was planning to shut down its social network next year because apparently Google+ is a buggy mess riddle with security vulnerabilities that the company can’t be bothered to fix because not enough people actually use it anyway?

Yeah, apparently Google found another security vulnerability recently. And while it’s been patched up, rather than continue supporting Google+ until August as planned, the company says it’s moving up plans to shut down the service.

Google+ is now scheduled to go offline in April of 2019, while the company will shut off Google+ APIs even sooner — something “within the next 90 days.”

According to Google, the most recently discovered security bug affected ore than 52 million users, allowing apps to access user information (including names, email addresses, ages, and occupations) even if that data wasn’t set to be publicly visible.

Google says financial data, passwords, and other more sensitive information wasn’t shared, but it’s still a pretty significant bug.

The company also notes that this wasn’t a breach — it was a bug that granted third-party app developers access to data for about 6 days. Google also notes that it has “no evidence that developers who inadvertently had this access” misused it or even were aware of it.

But it is an example of the sort of thing that can go wrong when you’ve got a massive web service like Google+ and you’re not particularly committed to supporting it.

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5 replies on “Google Plus is shutting down earlier than planned”

  1. Weird… according to Wikipedia and Google’s (fudged) numbers, there were/are 540 million “monthly active users” (who spend just mere minutes on the site). What’s weird about this? Hardly a peep from anyone. No complaints. 540 million and nobody cares.

    In contrast, when Reader was shut down – the Internet burned down. To this day, people still complain about Reader, despite Google’s claims that usage was low. I guess the tech savvy crowd is many degrees more vocal (?).

    1. Unfortunately, Google will never share such information.
      Using the platform for at least 30 mins means that someone is actually active (or its a very busy bot), and using that metric I don’t see them having any significant figures (3 million a month?).

      However, I do recall the events of Google Reader and actually sympathise with the users. It was a great solution that launched before modern smartphones/widgets, and found a shoe-in for the early days. And at the time of closure it still had an active user base (10 million?). Of course, its much more difficult to track the users because usually the user would set RSS to fetch automatically, so Google couldn’t quite tell which were still active users and which simply had it running in the background. Though I distinctly remember RSS feeds as being a pretty large market just before the closure of the project, which was directly in competition with Google Now.

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