July 29, 2015
Google recently announced it would relocate features once accessible through Google+ to other Google services. For example, location-sharing will be moved to Google Hangouts and photo features have been moved to Google Photos. The most celebrated change appears to be Google’s removal of the requirement of a Google+ account to make comments on YouTube, a point of contention between users and the company for years. Moving forward, interested users will only need a Google account to log in to the company’s apps and services.
Although less emphasis will be placed on Google+, it will not be eliminated entirely. “While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we needed to rethink,” said Bradley Horowitz, who oversees Google+.
Google’s decision follows in the footsteps of other companies. “Rather than make an app or a website that is a one-stop shop, tech companies instead are introducing stables of services,” reports The New York Times.
“Twitter has Vine, a video-sharing app, and Periscope, a live-streaming app, separate from the main Twitter platform,” NYT explains. “Facebook not only broke out photos and messaging into separate apps, but also decided to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp, direct competitors to those services.”
While Google+ never gained enough traction to compete with the likes of popular social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Yahoo notes that “Google+ provided the foundation for the seamless login system we use with Google apps today… It also paved the way for Google’s new Photos app.”
Although there will be less emphasis on Google+, hardcore users will still be able to access forums to discuss their favorite Google products as they have done in the past.