Google+ changes: Splitting of services, plus new boss

Google+ appears to be breaking into pieces. The social networking service is getting its second new chief in about a year, VP of product management Bradley Horowitz, who said in a post Sunday he’ll be in charge of the Photos and Streams products.

The news comes after Google head of products Sundar Pichai told Forbes a few days ago: “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.” Pichai reportedly confirmed the changes today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, although he was vague on details and did not offer a timetable.

The future of Google+  came into question (not for the first time) last year after Vic Gundotra, the Google senior vice president who was in charge of it, resigned. David Besbris, a Google engineering vice president, took over and told the Mercury News last summer that the social network had “hundreds of millions of users” and that Google was “not giving up” on it. But the Google+ team has reportedly been cut in half. And as I wrote in the fall, Google eased up on requiring new Gmail users to sign up for Google+. It was a curious move, because Google+ had served to unify the information Google collects about its users and had been heavily pushed by the company.

Google+ was launched in June 2011, aimed at competing with Facebook. (Horowitz launched Google+ along with Gundotra.) But although the service has its share of devotees, it’s been largely seen as a flop. It also has been slammed from inside the company. In a post that went public, one Google engineer called its creation a “knee-jerk reaction” and “a study in short-term thinking.”

 

Photo: Vic Gundotra, left, and Bradley Horowitz, who led the Google+ project, are shown in July 2011. (Dai Sugano/Mercury News)

 

Tags: , , , ,

 

Share this Post



 
 
 
 
 
css.php