It seems that Google’s failed attempt at out-Facebooking Facebook, Google+, is being left for dead and salvaged for parts. According to Bloomberg, the photo sharing functionality that is built into G+ is being slice off and turned into a separate Google service, accessible to non-plussed users.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising – we’ve been hearing about similar plans for some time – with the suggestion that other useful aspects of G+, such as Hangouts (video chat) are also candidates for separate services. Only a few months ago the person in charge of Google+ left the company too – and in Google’s most recent big press conference, Google+ was only mentioned in throwaway remarks once or twice by some embarrassed presenters.
The spin-off of Photos would make a lot of sense though. By those that use the service, it is widely viewed as successful, and as something that could rival the likes of Flickr and Facebook in terms of functionality and ease of use. The speculation is that by making it a separate service (like GMail, or Google Drive etc), it might attract users who are currently put off by the current requirement to buy into the rest of the G+ nonsense.
This would also shift G+ further towards simply being an identity provider, as has been previously speculated.
So if you want to remember Google+ as it is now, as the old saying goes… why not take a picture? It’ll last longer…
By James O'Malley | August 4th, 2014