Google Plus has been declared dead more often than Facebook changes its privacy policies.
According to Bradley Horowitz, Vice President at Google Photos and Streams, ‘Google Plus is not dead.’ He said this in an interview with Steven Levy ahead of the Google’s 2015 I/O developer conference.
There were a lot of exciting announcements at the conference, especially the platform changes and updates indicating a big shift in terms of where G+ is heading.
The main Google announcements that affected Plus this year were the launch of Google Photos and Google Collections. The Collections app was released prior to the conference in May, which created anticipation that Google was about to phase out the Plus division. With the following Google Photos announcement, it became clear that Google is actually shifting the Plus division, by turning its strongest features into two separate products instead of getting rid of it altogether.
Here’s an overview of the two Google apps:
Google Photos is a revamped app that offers unlimited storage of photos and videos for free (photos up to 16MP, videos up to 1080p). The app organizes the files as a timeline, and groups them together by location categories (e.g. ‘food’ or ‘restaurants’) and people — using advanced auto-tagging. Users will be able to share groups of images without requiring the recipient to have the app — it’ll just make a web gallery. The files can also be shared on any social media platform without causing any issues.
Google Collections is an app that allows people to start categorizing their posts, photos and videos by topic, and connect with others based on shared interests. It seems like the app will directly be competing with Pinterest with the features it offers.
Given the major product announcements, there is now another update that signals Google Plus is nearing the end of its life. According to a recent article on the Verge, “Google+ links began disappearing today from their most prominent places in Google’s ecosystem.” The +[your name here] is no longer on Google’s homepage or in your Gmail.
With all these updates, it’s hard to believe Google Plus is going to be around for much longer. But, we are now looking forward to seeing what plans Google has for its beloved Plus, to respond to all the speculation…it is Google after all!
It will be interesting to see how consumers will adapt to these changes, but it will be even more interesting to see if and how marketers utilize these developments for future campaigns.