The saga over whether Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg deliberately closed off his Google+ account to ensure his privacy has taken another turn with news that the action was down to a 'glitch'.
Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president of engineering, used the Google+ platform itself to shed some new light on the situation.
"Yes - this was glitch that affected small number of people - those with very high followers and few people in their circles," he noted.
Gundotra made the comment in response to a post about a number of Google executives, along with Zuckerberg himself, suddenly disappearing from the Google+ rankings.
Earlier this week, Zuckerberg completely fell out of the Social Statistics rankings of the most popular 100 Google+ users, down from his number one slot. V3.co.uk speculated that Zuckerberg had souped up the privacy settings on his account to prevent others from seeing his follower details, a move we found rather ironic coming from the king of data collection himself.
However, by mid-week, Zuckerberg appeared to have changed his mind as his Google+ account was open to all once more and he was back at the top of the rankings.
Despite the flurry of interest around the matter, Google had remained tight-lipped until Gundotra's comment on Thursday.
His reference to a glitch indicates that Zuckerberg's closed profile was down to an issue with the Google+ platform, rather than any action he took. The profiles of Google executives such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Gundotra himself were also affected.
Zuckerberg has yet to make an official response, no doubt not wanting to give the rival social network any more free publicity than it has already received.
Here are the most popular Google+ users as of lunchtime Friday, along with their follower numbers:
- Mark Zuckerberg 184,842
- Larry Page 94,913
- Sergey Brin 71,781
- Vic Gundotra 47,989
- Robert Scoble 47,239
Dubbed Barnard's star B, newly discovered planet is believed to be rocky
Also, what's a USB stick?
Gravitational waves become extremely weak by the time they reach the Earth and require highly sensitive equipment for detection
The reactor topped out at 100 million° C