Google announced that they would be breaking apart Google+ and changing the names of the products that were involved, in an effort to revitalize the struggling network.

Google+ is changing and before long, it could be disappearing altogether as it is known today. Google announced that three of the key products involved with Google+ would be changing names, and splitting away from each other, creating their own individual networks. The company noted that Hangouts would remain a communications staple within the Google brand, but that Streams and Photos would both split into their own networks and brands respectively.

This came when Google+ had just received a new leader in the management team – as Brad Horowitz took over the operation. The Product Vice President said in a post that he “Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true – I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products! It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.”

The excitement though might be more for show, than it is out of raw excitement. The truth is that Google+ has struggled, and since the post Google has refused to acknowledge whether Google+ is even going to exist in the future – as it receives serious criticism and slow growth from an active user’s standpoint. Google has a host of products that do exceptionally well, like Maps, and Gmail to name just a couple – but this particular social network has failed in almost every way to accelerate really and grow. The lack of traction made this move the furthest thing from a surprise, and really, if Google were to kill Google+ entirely, and break all of the services down – it wouldn’t really surprise anyone.

However, rebranding, and even killing the Google+ brand could have serious impacts on how the company is perceived moving forward. This would be one of the highest-profile failures that the company has ever had, and would really hand a lot of faith and authority over to Facebook – who is clearly the undisputed winner in the social networking space – but who Google had visions of knocking out of the top spot. This though simply expresses Google’s desire to focus on the components of social networking rather than the entire package being sold as one. In some ways, it makes the Google products more sellable, compared to that larger product that may have components that people have grown tired of in an otherwise cluttered social networking space.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I bet it would be easier to improve g+ (or “streams”) without a need for such tight integration with hangouts/photos.

    And even after the split, I’m betting there will be enough inter-operability between the services for end user friendliness.

  2. A huge number of G+ “users” are only there because they use Gmail or YouTube and had a G+ account forced on them. They’re probably not actually active users of the social networking end of things.
    I’m in that category. I’m all for having one account across all of their products but I’d prefer they let me chose what products I want to use instead of automatically signing me up for everything and forcing me to hunt though countless settings to turn off everything I can find in order to keep my privacy.

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