You may or may not have noticed this, but Google has been slowly severing ties with its Google Plus product. Despite the strong push and the fact that they tried to integrate G+ into EVERY part of its platform, it appears as though they may finally be preparing to pull the cord on the product.
Why do I say this? Well there’s nothing official, but there definitely appears to be a movement in that direction.
Your G+ profile will no longer be your identity across all products
Google finally made the announcement that your G+ profile will no longer be your identity in all Google products. The first place that the change will be made is with YouTube. Users will be able to use their standard Google accounts to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel, and so on.
Google Plus is getting harder to access
In the past, you could access your Google Plus profile by simply clicking on the + button next to your name in the upper right hand corner once you logged in to your account. However, Google discreetly did away with this feature, making it more difficult to find your profile and pages. You can still access it via the drop down menu, which provides links to many Google products, and from there navigate to your profile and pages.
While you could argue that they removed it because they’re moving away from requiring your G+ profile to be your identity, I think it’s indicative of a larger shift.
Google Plus Photos is going away
Google Plus Photos, the photo sharing service that is currently tied to G+, will no longer be available to users as of August 1st. The Android version of Google Plus Photos will be the first to go, followed by iOS and the web apps. Users will, instead, have access to the much better Google Photos service to host images in the Google Cloud
Google’s official answer is that the service is going away because Google Photos is a superior service; however, in my opinion the writing is on the wall.
Still Hanging Around
Don’t get me wrong, there are some who still use Google Plus, especially for its SEO value. There are still people who are dedicated to finding and adding new accounts to circles. Heck, some people prefer G+ to any other social media network.
However, in my opinion Google Plus is in serious trouble and has been for some time. While Google has for years reported a massive user base (because it included users from its other products since they were all linked together under the G+ umbrella), its painfully obvious that Google Plus has been dying a slow death for a long time, especially when they made the mistake of REQUIRING users to create accounts to use the other products.
While many would argue that the service was doomed from the start, that it was trying to directly compete with the more established Facebook without bringing more to the table, I believe that it was this insistence on requiring users to create the searchable profiles to user its products that angered users and put the last nail in the coffin.
What do you think, though? Do you think that we’ll be seeing the end of G+ in the next few months? Do you think I’m wrong? Do you still utilize the platform?