There have been plenty of debates and critics over its legitimacy as a “true” social network, but Google+ as we know it is going away. Because online interaction is increasingly visual, mobile and fast moving, Google is hoping its new breakdown of services will meet the needs of the marketplace. The company announced this week that it is breaking Google+ into two separate platforms called Photos and Streams. Bradley Horowitz, the current vice president of product management for Google+, made the announcement on his page.
For more than a year, there have been rumours that the social media platform was going to be changed or even shuttered altogether. The move to separate feeds, industry experts say, is a result of Google’s exhaustive and most likely unlimited amount of user data to use and analyse. The company is well positioned to understand user behaviour and trends. It seems digital people are much more likely to gravitate towards visual mediums.
Given the popularity of platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, it is understandable why Google is moving in that direction. Highly committed users of Google+ have always focused on the visual elements of the platform.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for products, spoke to Forbes about the change in the platform. “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,” he said in an interview to the magazine. Google+’s photo sharing and saving capabilities is one of the most used parts of the platform. Google+ stores all of your photos in virtual albums that are automatically organized and edited by Google’s algorithms. The future of Google+’s popular Hangouts feature is unclear.