Yesterday, Google announced that during an audit they found evidence that some 3rd party apps may have been granted overly broad access to your data, but they can’t confirm this:
We made Google+ with privacy in mind and therefore keep this API’s log data for only two weeks. That means we cannot confirm which users were impacted by this bug. However, we ran a detailed analysis over the two weeks prior to patching the bug, and from that analysis, the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected. Our analysis showed that up to 438 applications may have used this API.
As the first action to combat this they are shutting down Google+ for all consumers. Goodbye, Google+.
I remember when G+ first launched and being the tech person I am, I had to give it a try. I thought their “circles” ideas was a smart feature and could be an interesting way to use one social service and reach a subset that is interested in certain parts of your life. Share family photos with family, share coding tips with peers, etc.
The circle idea didn’t matter to me in the end, because after about a week I was annoyed that they didn’t offer a standalone Mac/iOS app and they offered no API’s that third parties could tap into to create an app. Like Tweetbot is to Twitter. So I stopped visiting the site.
I personally gave up on it after that first week but figured I give it another try with my Laravel News site and auto share post over to it. I can say it’s sent no traffic in the past few years and the service was a complete ghost town.
I believe with the backing of Google they really had a chance to make something decent but from an end user perspective, they failed at every part. I think really what it boiled down to is it was created as a reactionary product. The passion was never in it.