To provide background for this story it is important to know what Google+ is. Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook, it is their social media attempt. Launched in 2011, it has 516,246 according to a 2015 study by Eric Enge. Unfortunately, it never took off and the platform has been used by a small number of active users but did not meet the expectations that Google set out for it. A Google+ account provided a lot of functionality but users never bothered to utilize the social media aspect of it. For various reasons from being too similar to Facebook to just being difficult to navigate.
In March after Google did a review of how it shares user data, it discovered a data breach that allowed developers to view sensitive user data since 2015. It was patched up but Google chose not to disclose it due to fears of regulatory scrutiny. Google feared getting rounded with Facebook as they were going through their own legal problems at that time due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Now Google will retire the free public version of Google+ in August 2019. According to Google, an enterprise version of Google+ will be packaged as a product to users or companies that buy Google’s G suite service.
You can read Google’s memo on the subject that was published on Monday. They provide more information and provide more details on the breach.