Like that quirky friend that no one wants to hang with any longer, Google is slowly giving Google + the boot. With Google+ not becoming the end-all-and-be-all that Google had hoped, this giant is now stepping back and rethinking things. This is evident in the way it’s phasing out Google Photos and decoupling Google+ profiles from standard accounts. Google+ profiles was initially meant to provide users with one identity across all platforms. Problem is, users weren’t fond of this practice and started to revolt.
Bradley Horowitz, Google VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing was quoted as saying: “People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.”
The restructuring of its social networking service is in direct response to user anger over features they don’t like, as well as intense competition with Facebook and Twitter, according to Fox News.
YouTube Goes First
The first service to be decoupled is YouTube, where having a Google+ account suddenly became necessary to leave comments. This left a bad taste in YouTube users’ mouths, so now users won’t require a Google+ account to share their videos or make comments. It will also be possible to remove your Google+ profile, so expect all that to happen in the next couple of months.
Additional Features Facing the Axe
Other features are being moved out of Google+ and relocated to other areas to better serve user needs. As such, there will be an increased attention paid to Google+ Collections, where location-sharing will appear in tools like Hangouts where they can be better utilized. Many say it was Vic Gundotra’s departure from the company that put Google+ on the black list. In fact, Alexia Tsotsis and Matthew Panzarino wrote last year that Google + was “walking dead.” The photo service is not the only thing being segregated from Google+; Google+ sharing and links to the service from the tool bar that’s accessed system wide also faces the axe.
Beginning of the End?
These recent developments seem to point to the fact that Google+ itself is not going anywhere, but that there will definitely be extensive changes in the focus of the service. But even with all that positivity coming from the company, one can only wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Google +. Is its own parent company giving up on it slowly but surely? Only time will tell. Just take a look at Photos, which was arguably the best feature of Google +. What’s left but a weak social network revolving around “shared interests”?
If you’re left wondering what these changes mean for you, we can help. Aqaba Technologies is a Certified Google Partner Agency that understands the unique challenges posed by Google and can help your business navigate these murky waters. Call us today at 248-275-1222 to learn how this can affect your business. Feel free to post a comment or ask a question on our blog.