There are bad bugs, and there are worse bugs. But until this week, there had never been a bug that killed a social network. Then the Wall Street Journal reported that a glitch had exposed private Google+ profile information to third-party developers between 2015 until earlier this year. A few hours later, the network — which once claimed 135 million users — was dead.
For most of its seven years, Google’s effort to build a Facebook-style social network served mostly as a punchline. The company regularly touted suspiciously massive user numbers, but aside from a few pockets of enthusiasts, Google+ never managed to find a place in people’s lives the way Gmail, YouTube, or other Google services did.
Google attempted to reinvent Plus several…
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