It was in June 2011 when Google introduced their very own official social networking platform, Google Plus. Like most social media platforms, its main page shows you content from your contacts. Users could then connect to contacts, very much like your “friends” and “followers”. It also has a feature called “Google Plus Circles” which allowed users to group their connections. It didn’t really become as big of a hit as its competitors such as Facebook or Twitter. With Google Plus, companies could advertise more, connect with customers, and get business reviews. All these information will then reflect on search engine results, thereby increasing traffic.
Goodbye Google Plus
It is unfortunate, however, that Google Plus is saying goodbye forever. Google themselves announced this sad news last October 8, 2018. However, they are reassuring users that it isn’t effective immediately and will exit the online world ten months after.
It is undeniable that engagement and usage for a platform can determine its effectivity. In a blog post by Ben Smith, the engineering vice president of Google, he revealed that sessions were for less than five seconds in 90 percent of the users. This indeed proves that it wasn’t able to catch up with its competitors.
Privacy is absolutely a big concern in the online world. After all, users are sharing their data under the assurance of the platform’s promises that their data is protected and sealed. This reason is why it was such a big issue when Facebook logged out all accounts recently last September after 50 million users’ personal information was breached.
In Google Plus’ case, the same blog which announced the shut down of Google Plus, Smith confessed that there was a data leak last March 2018. In this data breach, more than 400 third-party applications potentially had access to supposedly private information. This information includes usernames, email ads, age, gender, and even the occupation. Smith, however, assured that messages and phone numbers were not accessed nor leaked. More importantly, Smith confirmed that there was no evidence that developers knew about the bug. They also confirm what really matters to users: that there was no misuse of profile data. Nevertheless, users remain skeptical and concerned about their data.
What also adds impact on the situation is that Google did not release a statement informing users when this security breach happened. Smith, however, explained that the data breach did not necessarily apply to the criteria that determine when a users should receive a notice.
Making the Most
Google Plus isn’t closing until August next year. Hence, Google is making sure that they are reforming their privacy policies. They will also be giving users solutions so that they can save their data and migrate it to other platforms. Businesses can also continue making the most of the remaining time Google Plus has to gain more traffic for their business. Will its shut down negatively affect the online marketing agencies and other business industries or will it pave ways for better and more effective solutions for sales and conversions?