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The biggest clue that Google+ was long dead: Google's top executives stopped using it up to 3 years ago

Isobel Asher Hamilton
Sundar Pichai

Denis Balibouse/Reuters


  • Google announced it would shut down Google+ following a Wall Street Journal report that it left users' data exposed.
  • Some observers online were surprised to hear the social network still existed at all.
  • You need only look at how Google's top executives have stopped using Google+ to see it was an unloved child.

The tech world was rocked by another privacy scandal on Monday — this time on an unexpected platform.

Google dominates many areas of our online lives, and Google+ was its attempt to break into social media. But it was seen as one of Google's biggest failures, and now it has an unhappy ending.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users had been left exposed over three years, from 2015 to this March. Not only that, but Google decided against informing the public about the vulnerability, the report said.

In the wake of The Journal's story, Google announced it would shut down Google+ as a consumer proposition for good. Some observers online were surprised to hear it still existed at all.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1049582398961328128?undefined=twsrc%5Etfw
Google+ is shutting down.

This is like when a band announces they’re splitting up and your first reaction is, “oh, didn’t realise they were still going”

But the writing has been on the wall for some time. You need only look at how Google's top executives have stopped using Google+ to see it was an unloved child.

Google+ was once the go-to platform for the latest pronouncements of Google's senior managers, but some went silent on the social network about three years ago. Here's when Google's top team stopped using it.

Google cofounder Larry Page last posted in August 2015

Larry Page

Seth Wenig/AP

Page does not appear to have posted on his Google+ page since August 21, 2015.

Page shared a post from his Google cofounder, Sergey Brin, announcing "a project to put computing inside a contact lens."

"Very excited about these health efforts also!" Page added.

Page does have a reputation as something of a recluse and does not have an official Facebook or Twitter page.

CEO Sundar Pichai last posted in March 2016

Sundar Pichai

Greg Sandoval/Business Insider

Pichai's last post on Google+ was an article from CNN about Google's DeepMind challenge, which pitted artificial intelligence against a human in the game Go.

Pichai's latest tweet was posted just over a week ago. In it, he announced that Google and Google staff members were donating $1 million to support relief efforts in Indonesia following a deadly earthquake.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1046863327262007296?undefined=twsrc%5Etfw
We’re deeply saddened about the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia - @googleorg and Googlers are donating $1M to support relief efforts, and we’ve activated our SOS Alerts to provide emergency info to those impacted

Eric Schmidt, the former CEO and executive chairman, last posted in February 2017

Eric Schmidt

REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

Schmidt stepped down as chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet, in December, many months after he'd given up posting on Google+.

His swan-song post was an article about the writer Jane Jacobs and urban planning.

"My Friday long read: Jane Jacobs's Radical Vision of Humanity, a fascinating read on importance of urban planning," Schmidt wrote.

Schmidt's latest tweet was posted on Wednesday, about a children's picture book aimed at busting the myth that engineering is for boys.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1047656462623727617?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Ara and her friends are more than just characters; they are models for girls and boys to follow if they are curious about the world--and want to build a better one https://t.co/OsosStVN6f

Cofounder Sergey Brin last posted in September 2017

Sergey Brin

Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Of all the big Google cheeses, Brin seems to be the last to have abandoned Google+, posting just over a year ago about the Ragged Islands in the Bahamas taking the brunt of Hurricane Irma. Like Page, Brin is relatively quiet on social media.

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SEE ALSO: In the Google+ case, the lack of transparency from Google is likely the biggest problem for managers, experts say