I’d heard rumblings about it over the last several months, but I was still taken aback some when I saw where Google is ending support for Google Plus this month. Google is known for being somewhat compulsive when it comes to making changes, so it’s not too surprising that they are taking this action.
I believe Google Plus was a direct challenge to Facebook which never quite took off the way they intended, but being that it is Google, it still had some weight to it.
Recently, however, Google has been hit yet again with a fine. This one even larger than the previous one. Also, a security bug was isolated which most likely explains the expediency of the retirement of the product.
This article from the Wall Street Journal maintains that Google knowingly kept the story from the public to avoid facing scrutiny and possibly more fines and fees. That’s a “cover-up” by definition in my book!
Will this hurt Google? Of course, however, being as big and powerful as they are, they will contuinue to cover their losses by charging users for products that they are used to using for free – just like they did the last time they suffered a humiliating fine.
On the other hand, Google is not the nasty monster that they may seem. They have endowed Wikipedia with over $7 million over the years. But I doubt that Jimmy Wales will volunteer that information!