Google shuts down Google+ after a data leak, unveils the Pixel 3, and might be losing advertising to Amazon.
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First from Reddit: It may be no surprise that Google+ is dead, but what is surprising is the way it happened. Google’s parent company Alphabet has decided to shut down Google+ after a report from the Wall Street Journal exposed data leaks dating back more than two years. The company said in a blog from Monday that it only discovered the leak, affecting more than 500,000 users, in March of this year. It decided not to disclose the problem for fear of scrutiny and being put in the spotlight like Facebook, according to internal documents acquired by Wall Street Journal. Similar to the Cambridge Analytica scandal third-party developers were able to access Google+ public user profile data and the non-public info of friends such as full names, email addresses, birth dates and more. Though unlike Cambridge Analytica Google says there is no evidence the data was misused by the 438 apps that could have had access to the personal data.
Next up from Twitter: Google held its annual ‘Made by Google’ event in New York yesterday, announcing the newest Pixel phone, the Pixel 3. The newest smartphone features two front facing cameras for improved selfies and AI that screens spam calls. Google also unveiled the Pixel Stand, which is a wireless charging stand for the phone that can also double as a photo frame.
Finally from LinkedIn: Amazon is gaining ground of one of Google’s main sources of revenue, advertising. According to CNBC some advertisers are moving more than half their ad budget that would normally be spent on Google Ads over to Amazon’s advertising business, adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars lost for Google. In Canada Google and Facebook account for the majority of digital advertising. According to the CNBC report Amazon’s ad budgets are tripling year-over-year and this may soon pose a threat to the two Canadian advertising giants. However a manager in Google’s ad sales told CNBC that he has not seen clients shifting budgets to Amazon but is seeing clients coming up with separate brands to sell exclusively on the e-commerce site. Nonetheless some people are saying that Amazon’s growth in digital advertising is the most credible threat to Google since Facebook entered the market in 2012.