The bloggers and main stream media seem to be happy reporting that Google Plus is dead after comments made by the company last week. These same group of people have also presumed that G+ was a ghost town since it opened in 2011. If this was true, then it makes perfect sense (and makes a good story) to interpret the latest comments from Google to fit their long lived beliefs, but if we just look at the official comments, this does not seem to be the case.
Bradley Horowitz "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."
Just in case you didn't know, internally Google Plus has always been referred to as streams. During the first couple years some of the documentation actually called it Google Streams. In reality, all of these changes that have been coming are probably more of a reaction to Facebook buying Instagram and WhatsApp than anything else. This statement showed up on Google Hangouts shortly after the first comments.
Sundar Pichai, "For us Google+ was always two big things: one was building a stream, the second was a social layer" said Pichai. "The stream has a passionate community of users. But the second goal was in some ways an even more important goal for us. We've done both, but I think we're at a stage where use cases like photos and communications are big standalone use cases so we're going to think of this as a stream first, and then photos and communications as big new areas. So internally we're organizing ourselves to support that. You'll see us evolve all these three areas."
There is really nothing that has been said about shutting down the Google Plus. All they have really said is that they are spinning off two very successful pieces of of a very successful platform If you think about it, they seem to be reacting to things Facebook is already doing. They are spinning off the Google Hangouts (like Facebooks Messenger, WhatsApp) and their photo editors (like Facebooks Instagram) to be more directly competitive.
CNN has reported "For those who still want to post to Google+, the newsfeed-like service will live on as "Streams." Google says that it's hardly giving up on the various components of Google+, and the breakup will only serve to improve the product's focus."
So many of the the same bloggers who insisted that Google was a ghost town all these years, are now quick to now be saying Google Plus is dead, I guess it is easy to read into the statements released this week and think that Google is being left behind, about to be decommissioned, or left to fade away. Though easy to imagine, this does not seem to be what is being said. It appears like they are realizing that there are completely different customer bases for each little niche out there, and internally Google needs to organize things so that they have different groups concentrating on each part. So moving forward communication, photos, and streams will all be run and organized by different groups.This has more to do with internal infrastructure changes, than anything to do with the end user. (my opinion)
Google's official statement on Monday was "we're going to think of this as a stream first, and then photos and communications as big new areas". This does not sound like G+ is dead does it? I addressed this a few months ago in my blog Google+ is a ghost Town?
So could it be that they are going to rename it Google Streams, could it be that they are actually going to just let it die one day, or turn it more into a twitter type service to make it easier to integrate into search. I guess anything is possible, but if you just go by the words being said by the company, I think all the blogs written in the last week, are not quite accurate..