Google+ is not dead yet, and as unlikely as it sounds, there are users who don’t want to see it go – it’s a social media network different from all the others, offering more than just the “local” taste of world. But it seems that Google has changed its view on the importance of keeping things growing, and it is set to chop it off into smaller pieces.
So even though Google+ is still hanging on for the time being, the search giant has made it clear that it will soon disappear into the night. While it might be an overreaction to think that Google is actively killing it, their latest announcements all point to that.
‘Unbundling’ seems to be the strategy applied by Google here, and even though Google Photos was more like creating a new product that could be available to more and not a cut of a limb, the other announced changes all seem like cuts transformed into independent services.
Basically, Google has decided on two important things: to divorce Google+ and YouTube, and to stop requiring a Google+ profile for people who want to access Google services and products. While most users are thrilled at the thought of separating their YouTube and Google+ activity, splitting them can still have a negative impact.
One feature that Google+ brought on YouTube was to notify users when a new video is uploaded – it was not amazing, but a neat addition to have. Moreover, while users might have been rebelling against the need to have a Google+ profile in order to comment on YouTube, this feature surely increased significantly the number of Google+ members.
It’s been long since Android users no longer have to sign up to Google+ and with this new decision to split with YouTube, there’s no saying when or from where are the next wave of new users going to come from.
Some would argue that people who are interested in using Google services will automatically choose to sign up to Google+, but that’s rather unlikely, especially in a world where Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp exist.
With so many other choices of social media platforms, people are far too busy to actively choose a network that doesn’t offer that much in return. Instead of making these changes more subtle, Google seems to prefer a more direct approach, slaying left and right.
Instead of doing that, a more gradient effort of making Google+ more desirable to users could have been more profitable. But if Google cannot find a way to get people interested – and Google+ Collections is not the way to go – then they might as well pull the trigger now.
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