Google eases up on Google+ push

Is a recent move by Google a hint at its social network’s future? The company is no longer requiring new Gmail users to sign up for Google+.

In a statement to the Telegraph, Google said the “signup experience” was changed earlier this month. The move comes after a couple of years of the company pushing the social network as a centerpiece for its varied online services.

As the Mercury News reported over the summer, the future of 3-year-old Google+ is up in the air after the departure of its chief, Vic Gundotra.┬áDavid Besbris, a Google engineering vice president who took over Google+, told the Merc: “No, Google isn’t giving up on Google+.” Besides going after social-networking king Facebook, Google+ also serves to unify the information Google collects about its users. In other words, all the better to target ads with, my dear.

But the company’s latest move appears to be a step back from Google+ and is likely to affect the social network’s user numbers, which the company said last year was 540 million monthly active users. By comparison, Facebook is said to have more than 1.2 billion users.

 

Photo from AFP/Getty Images archives

 

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