Speaking at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, Sundar Pichai had some interesting things to say about Google+, indicating that the social media platform could be split into various components in the near future.
For us, Google+ was always two things, a stream and a social layer. The stream has a passionate community of users, but the second goal was larger for us. We’re at a point where things like photos and communications are very important, we’re reorganizing around that. Hangouts will still exist.
Google+ is often criticized for being a ghost town, and Pichai first indicated in an interview with Forbes last week that Google’s social network could be broken up into components.
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.
Photographers make up a large part of the user base of Google+, and have been asking for improvements to the photo capabilities of Google+ – especially after Google merged many of its Picasa features into the service. Hangouts is the communications tool that has also seen some improvements over the previously used Google Talk, but still has a long way to go to compete with other apps like WhatsApp.
Bradley Horowitz, Google VP of Product, confirmed the recent rumors on his Google+ feed as well earlier today.
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.
Based on Horowitz’s post, it appears he is taking over the lead of Google+ from David Besbris who took over the spot after Vic Gundotra left about a year ago. As of yet, no timeline of the split has been mentioned, nor what will happen to the Google+ brand itself. I expect we’d see more information coming out of Google I/O in May.
What do you think of Google’s decision to separate components of the Google+ service? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.
Featured image courtesy The Verge.