Chances are, you have probably used Google's social network, Google Plus - or at the very least received an email from a distant relative urging you to. If you were one day looking to become more familiarised with the social network, your window is slowly closing as Google has announced plans to shut it down. 

Google Plus was designed to be a competitor to the widely popular Facebook but failed to gain the relevance and user base needed to attain Facebook's status. In a recent statement, Google announced, “The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds." The company also went on to reveal that it discovered a bug which granted the developers of up to “up to 438 applications” access to personal information from users who had made the choice to keep said information private. The aforementioned data included information such as email addresses, occupations, gender, age, and names. Google does, however, affirm that no personal messages were accessed and added that they did not find any evidence to suggest that any developer exploited the bug acquire personal information. 

Since its launch in 2001, Google Plus has failed to garner an active and large enough fan base, despite efforts to better the social network and placing the focus on other Google applications with high engagement. Variety reports that Google Plus will be phased out over the next 10 months, serving as an enterprise communications tool while it is still running.