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Report: Google+ to be Dialed Back, Fate Unknown, Hangouts Team Moving to Android

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The minute Vic Gundotra informed the world that he was leaving Google after eight years, the first thing most of us asked was, “What does this mean for his baby, Google+?” That question remains unanswered at this point, but a report out of TechCrunch gives off the impression that Google is viewing Google+ quite differently today than it did only a few months ago. Sources of TC would’t go as far as calling the social network “officially dead,” but did hint at its importance being drastically reduced. 

According to sources, Google+ is no longer being considered a product, but is instead looked at as a platform, which means that Google no longer wants to be in direct competition with Twitter and Facebook. That sort of seems odd given the amount of attention that Google has poured into G+ over the last couple of years, so as you can image, Google “vehemently” denied the idea. A spokesperson said that yesterday’s “news has no impact on our Google+ strategy – we have incredibly talent team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos.”

TechCrunch is, of course, hearing the exact opposite, with things like the Hangouts team moving over to the Android team, with the Photos team likely right behind them. They are also hearing that between 1,000 and 1,200 employees from the G+ team are being shuffled around, many of which Google isn’t sure where to put.

Some of the reasons for these new moves could be because of the failed YouTube comment integration from Google+ or the forced requirement into other products that were not exactly received well.

I’m not sure what to make of the report, but whenever you see the leader of a major product unexpectedly depart a company completely, you have to wonder what has changed. Gundotra championed Google+ regularly and was likely one of the driving forces behind its continued growth. Why Google is seeing that as a negative (other than failed integrations) is beyond me.

Over the next few months or even year, I’d imagine this will all begin to take shape if true.

Google+ users, thoughts? Non-Google+ users, excited?

Via:  TechCrunch
  • Chad

    Good riddance to that ghost town waste of cyberspace!!

    • Arthur Dent

      Lol, such anger over a website.

  • MikeSaver

    google pluhhh

  • nosedive94

    The problem that Google+ has is that if you’re integrated into Facebook, there’s no incentive to become involved in Google+. Google tried to fix that by integrating it into everything, which only had the effect of making people feel forced. I like Google+, but its ship sailed as soon as people realized that their friends wouldn’t be joining them on it. For me, Google+ has become yet another news aggregation platform, nothing more. That said, I hate Facebook, and I wish people would migrate to Google+, but they won’t, even though they hate Facebook too. As the saying goes, better the devil you know… It’s time for Google to put this one out to pasture.

  • The whole LIVESTREAM announcement had me wondering what was up???

  • ChristianPasquariello

    Google+ is the only social networking site worth a darn.

  • TBolt

    G+ is so much more enjoyable (for me) than Facebook – I like the open discussions amongst people with similar interests. If G+ dies, I still won’t log in to Facebook for any extended period of time.

    • Hershel

      That was good, minus every one in that conversation who pops up as a “friend” suggestion.

  • morgan boyle

    As a photographer, i always loved Google+ but it never hit that critical mass to be a “social” network. i hope it remains what it is but i have given up on expecting it to over take facebook.

    • Hershel
      • Braden Abbott

        Flickr is not pre-installed on every Android device, and I am not automatically logged into Flickr when I sign into Chrome or a Chromebook so no, thanks though.

        • Hershel

          expect google plus isn’t designed for photos. flickr is, and anyone with a brain would know all you need to do is sign in once. my flickr account is always signed in

          people just need to start to learn how to use their computers and websites more. \

          google plus is for nerds in their mothers basements. END OF STORY.

          • Braden Abbott

            Apparently you missed the plethora of Photo and Video enhancements made to G+ over the last two years, they have enhanced Photos more than anything else, and you need to learn how cookies work…my point was you still have to sign in to Flickr the first time you use a browser, where G+ is signed in automatically with Chrome. I prefer to use first party software instead of a third party solution, especially if it’s the best option like G+ Photos is. Plus Flickr does not give me the option to protect my account with two factor authentication so letting them hold my photos and video is definitely not going to happen any time soon.

  • Timothy Anderson

    I think this would be premature. I think Google Plus is superior in many respects to the others. I think they should wait for FB to hang themselves with all of the things they do to piss people off. I think the problem is not technical. I think they failed to generate the buzz, fanfare, involve celebrities, and PR that was necessary for launching something like this. The President was on a G+ hangout, but the only people who heard about it was us. Don’t tell us about it, we already know. Tell everyone else. You have to spend money to make money.

    • Hershel

      They’ve been pissing people off for over six years and yet, people remained on the site.

    • Hershel

      also when people associate celebrities with social media, its sully twitter

  • NBM

    While I didn’t like the TC article, I did also get a Google Opinion Rewards just this morning asking me if I’d used G+ in the past week… and that’s all… whats that about?

  • paulkoan

    Please don’t regurgitate TC articles as actual news, theirs was the worst kind of reporting on the net, and you are tarring yourself with the same brush. The article has been universally panned

  • wmsco1

    Three big people are now gone. What’s going on? Has the platform peaked? Are we going chrome? I think Google needs to come clean and tell us what’s going on and what the future holds. Just my suspicion.

  • bacramer9

    I love G+. I think people on this site do too. Looking at the share counts as my supportive reference.

  • Trysta

    Ok I hope I don’t offend anyone but…

    YAAAAAAAY!!!

    Google+ has been my LEAST FAVORITE part of android since day 1 and it hasn’t gotten any better. Being forced to use it for reviewing apps, not being able to predict what is and isn’t public (I have people add me to their circles even though I don’t want that) and generally feeling very uneasy about how searchable I am on the web has prevented me from fully enjoying my android experience. I know not everyone feels that way and if you like Google+ that is great but no one should be forced to use social networking (I don’t like facebook or twitter either but avoiding involvement in these services is relatively simple).

    • NBM

      G+ is simply your Google account. Or perhaps the “you” part of your Google account is a better way of putting it. Yes you can do social things on it, but you could also not.
      It’s simply the infrastructure certain account-centric things run on, including comments/reviews of Google services and hosted content. Reviews and comments can be left without linking to G+’s social aspect. The G+ association (aka Google account) partly helps insure apps aren’t being unfairly boosted or lowered by accounts that haven’t actually downloaded such.

      • Trysta

        Simply no. I got my Google account back when it was incite only and for the.longest time my gmail account was my login to all that is Google (still basically is). If I wanted to review an app I could only do so if I’d installed the app via my Google account but there was no way for someone to Google my real name (I just used a username) and find that review. This is now currently impossible unless I am editing a review that I made BEFORE the G+ requirement was instated. I love having a single Google account that handles everything. I do NOT love having to be super careful about normal web activities that Google will notify anyone in my gmail contacts list about. Example: Google recently added a new section to the play store where you get recommendations for apps based on what your friends are using. I got so many recommendations from people I KNOW don’t actively participate in G+ and certainly weren’t aware that every app they’d downloaded was now public knowledge to me (without my searching for this info). I don’t want what I download from the play store to be known by everyone I have ever emailed. (I hope this didn’t come off as personal against you. I just feel very strongly about this)

        • NBM

          It doesn’t come off as personal to me.
          I’ve of course had my Google account longer than G+ has existed as well (I think many/most people have) but I think the number of users that wan’t or “need” to publicly AND privately comment on an app in the Google PlayStore is probably not that big. It adds to that whole accountability aspect and makes fake accounts a bit more inconvenient to make and manage.

          I’m not sure how the recommendations work but I know I can see reviews from encircled people. If I didn’t use G+, I don’t know how it would then work beyond showing suggested apps based on my own decisions. I am also pretty sure a Google Search isn’t going to show my PlayStore reviews all too quickly though, especially if they haven’t been reviewed AND +1ed with a [public]ly shared post. I at least tried to find my activity using some very specific (exact) searches without success… In addition to the fact that my name and superficial review among many thousands of reviews on just one of many many thousands of apps is not going to be very detrimental to my well being.

      • Hershel

        you missed @disqus_ZnZpRxONbM:disqus ‘s point

  • Alan Marchman

    I applaud the fact that as I’m typing this readers have shared this article more on G+ than Facebook and Twitter combined.

  • Synacks

    I’m all for it if it improves Android and Hangouts

  • gorkon

    TechCrunch is full of crap.

    Google+ is viable. I use it more everyday for one reason…not everyone IS on it.

  • I hope they keep hangouts. I use it every day.

  • Jeff Lamoureaux

    This is why Google can’t have nice things…

  • I actually like Hangouts. I think its an innovative product and quite enjoyable. As for G+, its fun, but I haven’t seen the adoption from friends and family that I’d like… and dang it’s everywhere in Google. Can be annoying.

  • TylerChappell

    I sadly don’t use G+ nearly as much as I use FB, but man do I completely prefer it bar none over FB when I do. FB just seems to have so much more trash, spam, nonsense, etc than G+.

    • Hershel

      They said the same when it was Facebook and MySpace….

      • NBM

        that’s an argument in favor of G+

        • Hershel

          till google plus gains more people…. then…. well you know….

          • NBM

            Then what? Google is not following Facebook’s model.

            G+ is yet another platform like Chrome and Search for the company to gather a lot of data from. As a mattter of fact, if you actively use Gmail, Chrome, YouTube, and search (mobile or other), then you might be shown things you find interesting in G+… just like using one of the other services might determine what you see before a Youtube video or a Gmail ad, etc.

            Facebook is less advanced: http://youtu.be/l9ZqXlHl65g
            and the follow up: http://youtu.be/oVfHeWTKjag

          • Hershel

            facebook didn’t really follow myspaces model eirther…

  • Google, don’t you even dare closing G+! I have all my family photos there and I use it a lot for reading news and following various developers.

    • Hershel

      if an online back up is your only source to hold your personal family photos, and the service shuts down its your own damn falut.

  • Nick

    I LOVE Google+. I’m going to be devastated.

    …said no one ever

  • G+ isn’t going anywhere, it’s growing faster than Facebook and much more engaging. The YouTube-integration also wasn’t a fail. It wasn’t going to solve the troll comments problem, but it succeeded in promoting more civil conversations and comments. It’s cleaned up the sign-in process and comment sections of many websites, so I see it as mostly a win.

  • shooter50

    Great news. Next time maybe they can develop something a little more user friendly and not force it down our throats. I so wanted to like Google + as an alternative to Facebook, but everytime I opened it I asked myself why it had to suck so bad. Good riddance if they do decide to shut it down and if not, with Vic gone, maybe they can fix it.

    • shooter50

      and while I’m venting, Hangouts blows too. First thing I do when I get a new phone. Disable Google + and Hangouts. Both are bloat as far as I’m concerned.

      • John Davids

        Anything constructive to share? Like what about Google+ and Hangouts that has you distressed so greatly? Or are you just using the comment section of a blog/news site as your personal thought bathroom like 98% of the internet?

        • shooter50

          Like I said, Google + is not user friendly. Almost everyone I know would love a Facebook alternative, but refuse to use Google + after giving it a try. And Google trying to jam it down our throats like with youtube integration for example is really annoying. I clearly stated I was venting and I told you what I do with a phone that comes preloaded with this bloatware. What else do you need?

          • John Davids

            “Not user friendly” is not super constructive. What exactly about it? Takes more clicks to accomplish the same task as on FB? You don’t like the color palette? Too many buttons? Too complex? Too simple? What?

            Your second knock on the service is “everyone I know doesn’t like it” is actually a very valid one, considering the context that we are discussing social sharing mediums. However, I would posit that the vast majority of people who have “tried” G+ and do not like it simply do not like change. They try to do all the things they do in FB on G+ and immediately get frustrated because it is different, thus abandon it and go back to FB. An endless feedback loop which begs the question, how do you unseat the undisputed champion of social mediums? Any challenger is inherently at a massive disadvantage. Anyone that tries your new service will immediately realize that unless their entire (or majority) of their social circle migrates simultaneously to the new service, it is already dead to them because they have no one to share with.

            Still haven’t heard what your beef is with Hangouts yet.

          • Jeff Lamoureaux

            Is today “Make shooter50 your bitch day” and no one told me?

          • John Davids

            Heh, I dunno about all that. Just trying to have a productive conversation 🙂

          • NBM

            they don’t use it because they can’t stalk all the people they know… because the people they know aren’t on it.
            That’s not really what G+ is though… I guess it could be, if users treated it the same. Facebook is a lot of people and or businesses, etc, putting up stuff about themselves and then other people looking at if (maybe with some sort of validation) and then the creator enjoying the attention in some way.

            For me, I started using G+ for photos (instead of Flickr, Instagram, etc), then to follow tech blogs and such (instead of Flipboard), which led me to join some communities (instead of Facebook), which finally led to posting content. Then when YouTube was integrated, I could keep track of yet more content/comments from sources I was more interested in, as well as my own discussions (when I want to). The Google based activity tries to tailor to a user while all the other services are more like one of those crappy sales bins where you have to dig around a bit to find the stuff you might like (Twitter, FB, IG, Vine).

            All this is on stock apps/services (for mobile) from one account that I already had. That’s pretty much the opposite of bloat.

  • Alan Paone

    Between the fact that they still don’t have an api and are clinging to the card UI that encourages users not to post, it’s hard to call Google+ dead, it’s not even born yet.

  • admmck

    Good! I hate Google+!! Being forced into a product/platform is horrible. If the product/platform is useful or desirable, then people will flock to it without being forced to do it!! That is how it should work! It’s simple! (I know Google only cares about ad revenue, but I won’t be forced into something that sucks). I’ve been with Google (Gmail) since I paid for a Gmail beta invite years ago, I’ve championed Google’s this and that and shouted their merits from the rooftops. My whole family is on Google now… But being forced into crap isn’t what Google used to be about! Google has good stuff, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t remember their own slogan, “Don’t be evil” anymore…

  • Allyn K C

    I once had a strong preference for Google+ over Facebook, but couldn’t get many of my friends/family to make the switch.

    But over the past two years, Facebook has replicated many of the UI aspects from G+ which I preferred, to the point that I no longer have a strong preference for one over the other. As a result, I rarely use G+ anymore, except for Hangouts and backing-up my Android photos. If those two elements do migrate over to the Android team, there will be even less incentive for me to even glance at my G+ account anymore.

  • Jared

    And here it is from one of the people who work on Google+:

    https://plus.google.com/+BenSchoon/posts/UorSCtUVWyx

    • Hershel

      You really love the service huh?

      • Jared

        I enjoy the service, yes, but I also like it when facts can disprove spurious claims.

        • Hershel

          Well until google themselves announces something anything can happen

          • Jared

            A Google Engineer who is on the Google+ team is more official and reliable than “unnamed sources” is it not?

          • Kevin

            not if the unnamed source is higher up.

          • John Davids

            Mind. Hurts. Cognitive dissonance. Too. Great. Shutting down.

          • Arthur Dent

            Yet there’s no reason to believe that is there?

          • Kevin

            well there’s certainly reason. good reason? that’s up for debate as we can see with all of the comments here.

  • mcdonsco

    Was wondering when this might happen as it has never seemed to take off…no one I know uses it.

  • Al-Burrit0

    I really like using G+ but most of my friends and family are still on Facebook.

  • Johnson

    so simple, after such a forced integration so much money poured into it and talents and tried so hard.

    Google plus is a good product with a ghost town inside!
    Thats the biggest problem, they probably no longer wants to fight it anymore and would use whatever thats good within google + and boaster it across all google realms which are still very successful.

    • Jared

      That’s the problem, the ghost town idea is absolutely not founded on fact. Again, I refer people to the Amanda Blain article that cites real-life sources (as opposed to the TC article that makes claims but cites “unnamed sources”). Here’s the link: http://www.amandablain.com/google-plus-ghost-town/

      • Hershel

        Lol

  • CBNforum

    Who will trust Google again with new products? My understanding is that over 300 million people are now on G+. This will be one of the biggest disappointment for many of us.

    • Hershel

      How many of them are active, everyday users? Most were forced to use it via signing up for YouTube, or even an android phone

      I’ll be happy if they discontinued it or at least tone it back and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Googles call, not yours.

      • CBNforum

        These are active users.

        • Hershel

          All “300 million”?

          Every single one?

          • Alex Hutchins

            Yes. Why is that hard to grasp?

          • Hershel

            and you know this for sure….

  • Rob Watkins

    I was a bit shocked. I prefer Google + to Facebook, I only use Facebook to keep in touch with a couple of old friends. With Google + I can tailor my interests into forums and interact with people with similar interests. I also use, Google Drive and Google Pics to back up all my pics. If these services ebb and become separated, it will suck. If Google + ceases to exist, I would likely go to Window’s Phone. It would be a great disappointment if Google + were dismantled.

    • Hershel

      I fell sorry for you

  • Big EZ

    I don’t currently use G+, but Iwill when most of the pages iI follow on Facebook move to G+. In the last year or so about 10% of those pages started using G+ a little. I. The past 3 months most of those pages now post to G+ the settings as Facebook and many more have jumped on the G+ bandwagon, probably 1/4-1/3 of the pages I follow. This is due to Facebook limiting their exposure to generate more add revenue. If G+ holds out another year, and can get some of the integration issues worked out I think they will see a large increase in use of G+.

    • Hershel

      Lol

  • Ricky Villatorr

    You’re all forgetting that 95 percent of Google’s services are free. They kind of have the right to force you to sign up for Google +. If you don’t want to use it, better for them. They don’t have to provide you with a free service.

    • Hershel

      You are right, but forcing people to use a service isn’t good.

      • Leif Sikorski

        Basically it’s a profile for your Google Account, nothing more and nothing less. Everyone had a Google Account Profile before, which was basically the same as now the G+ profiles. Nobody has to use the social timeline. It’s like complaining that you’ve to have an Apple ID on Apple services…

  • G+ is great for Ingres and may be few Custom ROM Groups…. like seriously… that is it….

    • Defenestratus

      You sadly seem to be rather myopic. Google+ Is great for connecting with interest groups that you’d otherwise not be interested in. Its not for sharing cute baby pics (Although you can do that if you want).

      • Hershel

        You can do that on Facebook….

        Some people are clueless

      • ya I guess there are a lot of groups, much better organized than Facebook’s group system is

    • sdcoiner76

      Seriously….no that’s not it. 🙂 Sorry couldn’t help it. Now actually seriously, G+ is FULL of huge thriving communities. Ones about not just tech, but movies, comics, general entertainment, cooking, etc. These can have tens of thousands of members or even 100,000 members with hundreds of posts a day.

      You have to realize that you get out G+ what you put into it. G+ is not Facebook even if they do have similar features, you can post and keep up with people if you like but there is so much more.

      The photos integration – easily helps me have a copy of photos at home and online, which is a lifesaver when my hard drive went bad last month (still slowly salvaging items off that.
      Communities – wonderful way to interact with people that have the same interests, even talk to app developers and such.

      Hangouts – a must for my family

      Events – Absolutely great for vacations. We use this and everyone’s photos are grouped into a vacation album automatically.

      Through a combination of these things I have met some great people who I talk to and keep track of more than 99% of the people in my Facebook stream. Again I understand Facebook has similar things but they are for the most part not presented in a way that puts them in the forefront in a pleasing way or they are not as well done (I think they are getting better though). Not saying G+ is perfect but it works for me.

  • Hershel

    Lot of angry google Plus users here…..

    Meanwhile we have starving children in Africa…. Death, rape, molestation all over. And people are crying over a social network thats fate is unknown because the head of the few network stepped down….

    • NBM

      perhaps there are alternative DeathLife, RapeLife, MolestationLife, and/or StarvingChildrenInAfricaLife blogs where people are also talking about relevant things?

      • Hershel

        It’s the fact that there are people crying over a “social network” is funny

        • Jared

          I don’t remember any crying, just discussing how ridiculous the TechCrunch article cited is and how there is no shred of fact behind it. I’ll admit that I’m a fan of G+ and that I use it all the time. It is far from a ghost-town and Vic leaving doesn’t mean that G+ is failing.

          • Hershel

            Then expalinnwhy he left?

          • Jared

            He explains it himself: https://plus.google.com/107117483540235115863/posts/MFrDF3W4RJL (and yes, it’s a Google+ link, that is where he made his announcement).

            Sometimes people need to move on to new challenges. Same thing with Andy Rubin and Hugo Barra. They left and Android hasn’t fallen apart, has it?

          • Hershel

            That’s diferent though. Google plus has been known for ages to force people in to using it. It’s different if you are a Google plus user. You are blinded by that plus mark…

          • Jared

            From the Amanda Blain response to TechCrunch as mentioned below:

            “There are 2 products/ideas called Google+…

            1. Google+ The background account… You use this to log into all Google products. This holds your security info, passwords, apps, location history … you know.. your account. Same as an Apple Id, or Microsoft Live Id. No difference. Including the “forcing” of these companies for you to create and use one when you interact with any of their services or products. Zero difference.
            2. Google+ the “social stream”.. this is where people post what they are eating for lunch, The latest science news article they found, and their thoughts on the latest movie they watched.”

        • Defenestratus

          How is it any different than people crying over anything relating to tech? Or Entertainment? Or anything else that isn’t related to food and shelter? Your moral equivalence is lacking in scope.

      • bobbyp

        Nope, I am sure they are talking about Android Flagships on all of those blogs. 🙂

    • Leif Sikorski

      It’s about posting unverified and already denied rumors. News has some kind of responsibility and should at least verify what they’re writing about. We all know that TechCrunch ist good at posting unverified rumors, but when some other sites copy this without verifying it’s even worse. Guess why some larger more serious sites haven’t covered this story? Because it’s completely fake.

      • Hershel

        Until google makes an announcement anything can happen

    • John Davids

      Nice Red Herring.

  • Jared

    From Amanda Blain’s response to the pieces being posted about this:

    “Know what the common theme is between all these “ghost town posts”? No interviews. No named sources. Lots of reporters who never used it. A quick search usually shows that the reporter has not used Google+ themselves. Sadly, to not even post the article they just wrote about the platform, to the platform. In fact most have less than 20 people circled and more often than not… have never even posted, ever. Awesome. Good reporters generally go out and interview people who are involved with something before they write a story, if they themselves do not happen to have first hand experience. This is fringe opinion piece media. Yet tons of these garbage articles keep getting posted on major tech publications presenting like it’s the facts.”

  • Tid Bit

    I rarely use G+. And I hope they drop Hangouts and make Google Voice a better app, with a better looking texting interface

  • TSY87

    I haven’t used it enough to really say its better or worse than facebook.. but since all of my friends are on facebook and only a handful actually use g+, its a no brainer for me when deciding which network to use more. 95% of all the stuff ive seen on g+ from my friends is stuff that has been posted accidentally because google forces you to use g+ to interact with pretty much all of their services. Not going to miss it.

  • James Lopiccolo

    A great open letter from Amanda Blain one of the top G+ contributors
    http://www.amandablain.com/google-plus-ghost-town/

    • Jared

      This. Thank you for posting this. The idea that Google would drop Google+ just because Vic is leaving is insane.

      • Hershel

        I hope they do drop it

  • akhnaten

    The forced march into Hangouts forced me right to an Apple iPhone 5s. After a month on the phone, I have no interest in going back.

  • Dan

    I love Google+ and deleted my Facebook account over a year ago. It would be disappointing to lose Google+ and any of its functionality (photos; hangouts; contacts).

    • Hershel

      But you’ll get over it

      • Defenestratus

        I wouldn’t. I use G+ as my primary news collation source. I can’t stand the butchery of the english language that is promoted by twitter, and the signal to noise ratio on facebook is ridiculous.

        G+ is a happy place for me where I can see what I want, when I want it and not be bothered by people asking me to play stupid games all the time.

        • Hershel

          I’ve blocked game requests and set up the news feed to my liking. I only like pages that interest me….

  • akhnaten

    Ding dong the witch is dead…

  • Hershel

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hkklife

    Good riddance to it, or at least the forced integration of it into YouTube and especially the Play Store. I always felt they were trying way too hard to shove it down our throats. Hangouts is moderately convenient for video chats to my non-Skype using friends and colleagues overseas. But for keeping up with distant relatives/parents/soccer moms/people over 25, FB still is in the lead. I have to admit, the latest round of updates to the Android app have finally made it rather tolerable.

  • Bradon

    Yay, now bring back Latitude to Google Maps you jerks!

  • Jared

    Come on, Kellex. That article was nothing more than click-bait. As Derek Ross put it, the author of that article hasn’t posted on Google+ for almost 2 1/2 years. I would no more trust his “sources” than would I trust Ford to tell me how a GMC drives. As has been said, doom and gloom gets more clicks, though.

    • Hershel

      Common sense is common sense

  • Miguel

    I for one use G+ more that any other social site, specially to show off my photography skills, also you can interact with only the people or groups that you want.
    I’ll be really sad if they just decide to drop it after coming a long way and gaining so much attention from everyone…just fix the Youtube G+ fiasco and we should be ok.

    • Hershel

      There’s Flickr for that

      • Alan Paone

        So you’re more than happy to make a yahoo account, and hang out where the photographers aren’t?

        • Hershel

          Flickr has been around for over a decade and is one of the most popular sites for photographers.

          Besides I already have an yahoo account from back in the the day. Been losing in via Facebook but with the recent changes I’ll be fine to adapt to it.

          Pays to do your research…

          • Alan Paone

            The community of photographers is significantly larger on g+, the extra TB has helped them claw back some users, but it’s a ghost town in the same way g+ is for non-photographers and non-programmers. Why are you fine with being forced to have a yahoo account?

          • Hershel

            I’m not. I already had the account.

            And I take you missed the part of Flickr being around for a decade and is designed for photographers not nerds

  • BuckNut614

    I have been using G+ more and more. Its more of a twitter/facebook/news feed for me. I follow a lot of android/ techie stuff and sports. Its becoming more of a daily driver.. Obviously its not facebook and it never will be but I hope they continue to develop and put energy into it.

    • Silver Veloz

      Totally agree with you. While I’m listening to Google All Music, my other Google products are right there at a simple click.

  • MacNificent

    I hope they do not get rid of either. Google+ or hangouts. For I have gotten most of my family and friends into it. I use hangout messaging and video calls daily as my messaging app to communicate with friends and family. And I don’t even have IG or FB installed on my devices anymore because Google+ has proven to be better. And I’m pro Google/android and have no problem with my most used and useful Google apps being integrated.
    I would hate to see it go away within a three year period.

  • J. Gilbertson

    As much as I like the design of the social app and how beautiful it is I wouldn’t say that I would be disappointed if they started to separate certain aspects of the app. For example: since no one I know uses Google+ but I love the photos app I would love to be able to get Google’s photos app without having to have Google+. I’d still want my pictures to automatically backup to the Google cloud through the photos app without needing Google+ installed. Other example: my wife doesn’t use and doesn’t want to use Google+ but she’s required to have Google+ to use hangouts. Why not use a Google id instead of Google+ to use hangouts? Google Talk anyone? Also lets not forget that Google Talk allowed you to voice chat through the app without needing to start a video feed. Man where is that right now?

  • 213ninja

    Why would this rumor excite a non-Google+ user?

    Wait so Vic turned off Google? I hope my internets still work…

    • Patmw123

      I would assume because a non-Google+ user wouldn’t be as limited in using Google’s services in the future without having a Google+ account. As a non-Google+ user I can understand that, but I certainly wouldn’t say I’m “excited”.

      • 213ninja

        word. i wasn’t that upset about Google going beastmode with G+ integrations but i can definitely see how that would frustrate people who don’t want it.

  • Daniel

    I just hope this doesn’t hurt Picasa/G+ Photos or Hangouts and I feel like this is a smart move otherwise. I like G+, but it’s better as a platform and identity across Google services. I also am in the minority of people who love the G+ integration in YouTube because I was able to create a NEW USERNAME and G+ profile to go along with my YouTube account so comments are actually anonymous (well, with my username only) now.

  • Arty McBert

    Will they finally make YouTube YouTube and not G+Tube?

    • The Narrator

      That’s what I’m saying.

  • Lucky Armpit

    Google+ is fine; I just don’t want to be forced to use it. That’s NOT the way to gain a userbase. There are three things (that I know of) that I can no longer do because I don’t have a Google+ account:

    1. Comment on YouTube videos
    2. Comment on purchases from the Play Store
    3. Sent pictures via Hangouts

    Any they wonder why there’s resentment towards this strategy of cramming Google+ down our throats? If Google+ lives on, fine, I have nothing against it – I just don’t want to be forced into using it because I’m a consumer of Google’s services.

    • Silver Veloz

      Exactly the reason why I don’t use a lot of apps and pages that require a login through Facebook.

      • Daniel

        I’d WAY rather use G+ than log in through Facebook, that’s for sure

        • Hershel

          It’s a log in.

    • OneMoreHit

      ^^^ This!

    • The Narrator

      Yes!
      But apparently people think there’s only trolls on YouTube so you should have to sign in through G+

    • Raylar

      I have a seperate login from my G+ account for YouTube.. As for Hangouts/Android you need a @Gmail.com account, which is essentially a G+ account.. Just think of the naming.

    • Trueblue711

      This, this, this. The fact that Google has been trying to force me to use Google+ on services I’ve been using without it made me loathe it. I don’t want my full name attached to everything I do on the internet.

    • turdbogls

      I dont get it, maybe I’m missing something. I, personally, am all in on G+ (have an account, post/browse frequently)

      but whats the big deal about making an account…its not like you have to use your real name, or picture, or use any real data about you. its basically a place holder for your info….which you can block from anyone.

      my wife, mom, and dad all have an account now, but they aren’t getting hounded by anyone, and the only info that I can see about them is their name, and their picture (if they choose to even upload one)

      I guess I just dont see how different this is than any other site making you make an account to post on their forums/areticles/threads ect. you give them JUST as much info as you are giving google to make a G+ account.

      • Hershel

        Because not everyone wants to create an account. It may be fine for you and your parents (whom you forced them to get an account) but for others we have it

        • turdbogls

          lets say Droid life made you make an account to be able to post….they wouldn’t be asking any more info than what G+ wants for an account. pretty much any site i have ever visited (android central, XDA,rootzwiki, the verge,ect) all require an account…its kind of a thing. you can’t post unless you make an account. Was Youtube different early on?

          • Hershel

            Most of those sites you can log in via Facebook, Twitter or Google plus. With YouTube you are FORCED to create yet another account when your old account was just fine.

            Some people don’t want to create a bunch of accounts.

          • turdbogls

            gotcha….different strokes i guess.

          • I had my youtube since day one and when google took over it asked me to merge info. I did and all worked. I didnt need to open another account like you claim.

          • michael arazan

            Google wouldn’t allow me to merge my original YT account, I had to set up a new one that was with my GMail account, I was pretty PO’ed about it, this was back in 2010 when I had my D1.

          • Gideon Waxfarb

            Last time I tried to set up a Google account, they demanded a cell phone number. Pretty sure Droid Life doesn’t have that requirement.

          • Caz A

            Google doesn’t demand a phone number. They offer it as a form of 2 step authentication.

            Which, let me say, I was glad for yesterday when my mentally ill ex broke into one of my alt email accounts and changed the recovery email to “(myname)isacoward@(herwebsite).com” and then attempted to do the same on my main account. I got the alt one sorted out just fine, but had she gotten into the main one, all hell could have broken loose.

          • turdbogls

            yeah, they dont do that. I have a “throw away” account with google and it doesn’t have a phone number attached to it.

    • Can’t post racist comments on YouTube anymore because people will know your true identity. Gotcha.

      • Hershel

        Just posting comments in general…

      • michael arazan

        Or a person could just create a new/fake Gmail and use it solely for trolling. Takes like 10 seconds, not that hard. And Google allows more than one account to switch to easily with one click on everything

  • Silver Veloz

    Hmm?? I’m on Google+ more than on Facebook. Never have used Twitter. Here’s how I look at Google+ vs Facebook, personally. I use Google+ for things I’m interested in and have in common with other people. Facebook, I use for/with my friends/acquaintances. And I have been using Google + Hangouts more lately.

    • turdbogls

      thats a good way to put it….FB is for friends that I want to see what they are up to occasionally, G+ is for my personal interests (case,sports,android,beta testing apps,fireams ect)

      • Silver Veloz

        Also……While I’m listening to Google All Music, my other Google products are right there at a simple click

        • turdbogls

          agreed…but the recent chrome plugin for music, and the original Hangouts plugin has made it all even better.

          • Nick

            What plugin are you referring to?

          • turdbogls

            sorry, I was remembering wrong. its part of the “labs” section in google play music.
            it was bundled with the “drag and drop upload music” they just rolled out a while ago. it ads a mini player to your task bar. so you can always play/pause, skip/ff/go back ect no matter what you are doing. pretty handy.

    • BroRob

      I do the same thing. The nearby stream was always fun to scroll through and see some of the stupidest posts, however the recent changes to it flooded the stream with ads and real-estate listings. Hope they keep G+ alive!

    • Adam Truelove

      Agreed. G+ is more closely related to Twitter than to FB. Most people consider G+ a social network, but it’s really not.

      • AlaninMontreal

        …even though it tried to tell you it was. And when you complained that you knew no one, the message became “but we’re not FB.”

    • Wesley Pardue

      This

    • Gideon Waxfarb

      This is a good description of the difference between G+ and Facebook. Any time someone posts pics of their kids on G+, I get annoyed 🙂 lol

      • AlaninMontreal

        Why would you get annoyed? See – that’s another thing I detested about G+; endless posts from people looking for the perfect stream; There’s as much crap on G+ as FB. On both, I simply scroll on down and ignore crap that doesn’t interest me. But this seemed to be more of an obsession on G+ than FB.

        • Gideon Waxfarb

          Because posting pics of your kids is what Facebook is for, not G+ 😛 Similarly, I don’t go on Facebook and talk endlessly about tech, because that’s what G+ is for. Facebook = for keeping up with friends and family. G+ = for chatting with people online (or sometimes real life) who have similar interests.

    • AlaninMontreal

      I agree. Initially, I used both networks differently, but I grew tired of G+. It’s become Usenet 2.0. The majority of communities are filled with spam and useless blog link-shares. Discussions generally result in teenage-girl style fights. And G+’s commenting interface — ideally, the basis of interaction on G+, is amateur at best. No threading. No photos. No link-previews. Getting a notification from a comment posted on a busy thread inevitably leads to a 5 minutes scroll through the comments to find which item the notification is actually referring to.

      And while a few of us liked having 2 different platforms for friends vs interests, it seems the rest of the world isn’t interested. Try walking into a room with 20 people and asking how many of them are on G+. Now ask how many are on FB. In the end, a social network that encourages anti-social behaviour, and upon which you know few people if anyone, has no legs. And it seems that this is exactly what is happening.

      G+ has had 2 years to make a dent. It hasn’t. That’s considered a failure in any business.

  • Llbarcode

    I love Google+ and use a lot every day. I hope does not go away!

  • JSo

    So because one guy leaves, Google+ is doomed? What kind of logic is that? Even if the guy is pretty much responsible for it.

    • BillySuede

      because due to his standing in the company, vic was the one person who may have been trusted to make it work. with him, there might not be anyone influential enough in the eyes of larry and/or sergey to save it in its current incarnation.

      • JSo

        I doubt he was all alone by himself working on Google+ in a secluded area. There’s a whole team that works on it. And I’m sure there are people who shared his vision. One guy doesnt make something like Google+

        • BillySuede

          didn’t say he was the only one. i said he may have been the one trusted to lead it. with him gone, the next in line may have not have the cache of trust to stop google + from being morphed into something else if sergey and/or larry want to go that route.

          • JSo

            My point was that it’s a team. There has been many people come and go at Google. One person leaves and someone else takes over. They don’t kill things off because the head guy leaves.

          • Jared

            Android is an excellent example of this. They didn’t shut it down when Andy Rubin left the project.

          • JSo

            And Hugo Barra

          • Jared

            Exactly. The idea is utter rubbish.

          • Hershel

            The fact that no one really uses the platform is utter Rubbish

          • Caz A

            300 million

          • Hershel

            There is a huge diference between 300 million and 300 million ACTIVE users….

          • BroRob

            Um…. Steve Jobs? I know it’s an extreme example, but do you think Apple is doing better or worse now that Steve Jobs passed? You are talking about a leader and someone who might have been way more innovative than his successor. I’ve seen many companies die simply because a new CEO came in and drove the company in to the ground… ONE person with the same employees. If the wrong guy takes over G+ could possibly be killed off, however if they get the right person G+ could flourish. This is all speculation, but I wanted to point out that ONE PERSON when in a leadership role can have a very drastic effect negative or positive on the product.

      • Caz A

        Save it? It has 300 million users.

        • BillySuede

          how many actually use it on a regular basis and not simply as the conduit to use other google services?

    • Hershel

      Because he was the head of Google plus.

  • brkshr

    I think Google realizes that people don’t want to HAVE to be tied to G+ for everything. My brother won’t use Hangouts on iOS for this reason. So for me, it would make sense for them to separate Photos and Hangouts from G+. G+ should be allowed access to their APIs, so we can integrate/use them if we would like. Other than that, I think they should be separate services like they used to be.

    With that said. I didn’t mind the G+ integration of everything.

  • Pretty disappointed you guys are citing TechCrunch here. Their article was just awful.

    • The Narrator

      They should cite the “World Wide Web”.

    • Hershel

      Google plus fan?

      • I like it but that’s not the point. I am a fan of good journalism, which is something TechCrunch did not exercise here.

  • Droid Ronin

    IMO, Google+ is a better built social network than Facebook is, but its major pitfall was the lack of people who were on it. Better to evolve into something else than just be a “me too” product.

    • The Narrator

      Wut

      • turdbogls

        i think he’s saying its better to move onto something other than a “social media” platform. concentrate on communities, photos, and hangouts….as evil as Facebook is, there is no over taking it any time soon.

  • Bob G

    🙁 DAMMIT Google!

    Maybe at lest now Hangouts will be better integrated in Android.

  • Chris King

    Man I hope they don’t get rid of hangouts

  • SVem26

    Et tu droid-life?

  • pcdroidski

    I think Google should have always focused Google + more as a tool than a social network. The social-side of G+ still lacks users. If they focused attention on making G+ a tool for Android/iOS backup and other relevant tools (like the current photo management/editing), the social-side would eventually grow into something other than Facebook & Twitter.

    • Fresh360

      The main thing people forget about G+ is that it operates in the same manner real life does. This means something I tell this circle of friends may not be known by another circle. So I can post ALL DAY on G+ but if I dont make those comments public when someone not in my circles or that particular circle I am talking to will not see it. Some people with public pages I have visited show no activity at all, but once I follow them and and I am placed in their appropriate circle they have become some of the most active people on my time line. So to say it lacks users i believe is untrue its just like in real life everyone doesnt need to know everything you are doing ALL the time.

      • Hershel

        Facebook allows for the same thing, just not as fancy as Google plus

        • Fresh360

          Now, but Facebook just like Twitter was initially and for the most part just you yelling into the crowd. Which means most people who have Facebook still broadcast everything to everyone.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Meh . . . . Wouldn’t miss it.

  • Mordecaidrake

    I personally love Google+. I find it’s UI much nicer and easier to use, never mind the event planning and photo sharing features it has. Facebook to me has become an advertising scheme, at least with Google+ there aren’t the banner ads.

  • Brandon Miller

    Maybe it’s just me, but that TechCrunch article sounded like a bunch of crap.

    • EC8CH

      Perfect comment

    • michael arazan

      Sounds like a TC wrote an “agenda” article. Wonder if they were paid to write it by a sponsor

  • PuttsMoBilesiCit

    I think they are going to move a lot of the people into hangouts and continue to push that as a “skype killer”.

    That’s just me though.

  • Ralph Bretz

    I like Google+ and Hangouts. Especially since a lot of Developers have moved from XDA to Google+ pages.

    • The Narrator

      Hangouts is the only good thing. The should drop G+

      • JBartcaps

        That’s far from the truth

        • The Narrator

          That’s why we have opinions

          • Jarrod Mochnick

            G+ Photos isn’t a bad thing. So no, Hangouts is not the only good thing from G+.

          • The Narrator
          • Alan Paone

            The way they torture photos is awful. The only reason they have their community is that they had higher-res photos than Facebook 3 years ago.

          • AlaninMontreal

            …but again, good or not, how many people (other than G+ fans) actually use it for photos and photo-sharing?

          • The Narrator

            I like adding wonderfully helpful content to DL threads, such as: “Everyone has an opinion,” or “Everyone uses phones differently.” These factoids add important dimensions to the discussion that no one has thought about before.

      • Raylar

        Drop G+!? Seriously? G+ should be made into the backbone of Google.. Which it kind of is….

        G+ is a google account, which in the end is the backbone. I dont use my G+ for my YouTube, but I do use it for EVERYTHING else..

        • turdbogls

          dont worry, he’s just a G+ hater 😉

          • Hershel

            As with thousands of others who have being forced in to crap

      • Ricardo Rodriguez

        Agree over here. Google+ sucks. Google- … I like the hangout platform.

    • New_Guy

      I use G+ over FB every day. I really do like G+. Hope it stays and improves.

  • flosserelli

    It is now clear why Vic Gundotra resigned and said it wasn’t the proper time to discuss details.

  • TheSparks

    Google+ has great potential, I hope Google keeps putting the same effort (or more) to it as before!

    It’ll be sad to see it deteriorate especially when its in such an advance stage.

  • DC_Guy

    Google giveth and then Google taketh away!
    Seriously, what gives? I hope Google knows what they’re are doing here. They run the risk of alienating some of their faithful if they’re not careful.

    • Gr8Ray

      Death before I install iTunes on anything I own again.

  • Arthur Dent

    Yeah … but it’s from TechCrunch.

    • Nick

      Exactly, that article is worthless.

      • ThomasMoneyhon

        Is the iOS Hangouts app made by the Hangouts team or some other group? That would lead even less credence to the article
        Hangouts is NOT an AOSP app. It’s a google app.

        • AlaninMontreal

          I see the Hangouts app as the first sign that G+ is about to be split off into separate entities. You may soon see a separate photos app. Picasa mobile?

    • AlaninMontreal

      The first article was from TechCrunch. A simple Google News search reveals hundreds of articles echoing the same sentiment. Not looking good for G+. Even if the articles claiming it’s about dead are wrong, it will now be fighting a new problem — being known as a graveyard instead of a ghost town. And who would bother joining now? Why invest time in establishing a presence on a network that — rightly or wrongly — is labelled as being on its last legs. Vic’s departure has killed it in my opinion.

  • TSON1

    If they kill Hangouts this quick after hitting the sweetspot that’s gonna be a problem.

    • No way they’ll kill Hangouts.

      • The Narrator

        They need to improve it and compete with iMessage

    • Adam Truelove

      What? Where would you even get an idea like that?

      • TSON1

        They did say all the employees are moving over to Android, right?

        • Omega192

          I believe by that they meant that the employees would continue to work on Hangouts, but in the context of it being the default messenger/SMS app for Android rather than it being a part of Google+.