Google+ already features Photos and Streams but Google just announced these features will now be split. Google VP and one of Google+’s key creators Bradley Horowitz announced the change on his Google+ page March 1st stating, “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.”
There is speculation that Google may be preparing to get rid of Google+ as a social networking site by dividing features into stand-alone products. Google’s SVP Sundar Pichai confirmed that they will be focusing on the individual features more in the future telling Forbes, “I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications, photos and the Google+ Stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.”
Google has not yet commented how this will affect Google+ but has stated that there are no product changes happening right now. Many may view Google+ as the social network that never caught on but do these changes mean Google+ was a failure? Not at all!
An article posted on Wired by David Pierce perfectly explains why splitting Google+ into Photos and Streams is not the death of Google+.
“But don’t write the obituary yet. It would be a mistake to call this a retreat, or an admission of failure. This is actually Google doing what Google does best: relentlessly optimizing its products based on data and feedback. There’s a small but very dedicated core of Google+ users, for whom Streams will now simply be a cleaner, more focused product. The truth is that when Google launched Google+, it actually launched three things. What it didn’t realize was that the two that weren’t “the social network,” Hangouts and Photos, were actually the future of social networking.”
Google Hangouts have experienced success and Pichai confirmed that it will still be available as a standalone product. He also suggested that Google plans to focus more energy on the Google Hangouts as a product.