Google, global search giant, has commenced the shutdown process of Google+, its social network, over issues of low usage and cyber insecurity.
The shutdown is due to a serious data breach in 2018 in which the personal information of more than 500,000 users was exposed.
The search engine giant had announced two significant data leaks that could have exposed information of millions of Google+ users to outside developers.
The first security leak prompted Google to decide that it was time to close Google+, with the company initially planning to shutdown the platform by August 2019. However, the second leak led the technology giant to accelerate the shutdown plan by four months to April.
“The shutdown is underway as of this morning,” a Google spokesperson said on Tuesday.
In a circular issued in January 2019, the search giant had said it will shutdown on April 2, due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.
“In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content,” Google wrote.
“On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.”
Google+ first launched back in 2011 as a way for the search giant to better compete against the likes of Facebook and Twitter.