Google has finally decided to bite the bullet and admit that its Google+ social network isn't working. In fact, it's shutting the entire thing down due to poor engagement, lack of adoption...and a data leak.
The decision, whilst less than surprising, comes with a sting in the tail, as it was revealed that the company had discovered, and summarily covered up, a security breach in the platform which led to some private data being available.
Estimates suggest that as many as half a million users' private details had been accessible via the bug since 2015, but Google decided to keep quiet out of a mixture of fear for the share price and the fact that nobody had actually used the exploit.
We suspect that scrutiny from governments and their regulators may have played a small part in the decision to hush up the breach.
There had been some discussion about making Google+ a paid-for platform to give it a USP, but that has now been abandoned. Instead, the technology will be used to create intranets for companies on the GSuite platform, like a version of Microsoft's Sharepoint.
However, there are still many questions to be asked about what exactly Google knew, how long it knew it, and whether we as citizens had a right to be told a lot sooner.
Google said it feared a witch hunt like that of Facebook after Cambridge Analytica, but by withholding, it has made itself look even more suspicious and the coming days are likely to see mounting demands for transparency.
Thus begins the messy end of the negative times for Plus, which has divided the very equals they sought to make greater than the sum of their prats.
Usage of the social network has been in the doldrums for some time, with one source suggesting that 90 per cent of traffic to the site lasts less than five seconds, We've all been there.
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