Headlines like, “Google Is Slowly Phasing Out Google+” on Yahoo! Tech, had many predicting the demise of Google’s social platform.
What brought on this onslaught of rumors was a simple Google+ post from Bradley Horowitz announcing his new position where he stated,
I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!
People were quick to read between the lines and note that Photos and Streams appear to be referenced as completely separate products and that Google+ wasn’t mentioned at all. And what about Hangouts?
The name changes could possibly suggest that Google is planning to kill or significantly alter the brand
Hangouts has been a standalone product with Google+ integration for years. Photos will work in a similar fashion as its own product with integrations in products like Google+ and Drive.
The entity the general public knows as Google+ is actually a stream. The internal organization was renamed to Photos and Streams because it is composed of the Photos product and products which contain streams of content, including Google+, Blogger, and News.
A recent article on Phandroid shared a comment from Google+ head engineer Yonatan Zunger to help clear up what he calls, “a lot of misunderstanding and speculation.” The most important part of the quote came at the end where Zunger tells us,
No big user-facing changes tied to this at all.
So, why the rush to judgement?
My guess is people have been anticipating the death of Google+ since the product was first announced. After disastrous previous attempts at building a social media platform (can you say Google Buzz?), no one believed Google could put out a quality social product that could find a place among giants like Facebook.
The buzzards have been circling since day one and have been waiting for a sign of weakness to make their move. Unfortunately, they didn’t take time to understand what was really going on and they missed their mark.
This is exactly why Jay Baer said,
If you ever see content, in any form, that has the headline, “_______ is Dead”,
run … for … the … hills!