There have been rumours for some time now that Google might split some of its better-received and frequently-used features out of Google+ and it seems from recent comments by Chrome and Android boss Sundar Pichai that this may well be the case.
In a pre-MWC interview with Forbes, Pichai stated that he thinks certain features should be split out of Google+. Pichai says that going forward the company will deal with Hangouts, Photos and Google+ as three important areas, instead of one.
He also stated that while Google+ and the team behind it have done an amazing job of creating a common login and identity across products, the team will now work on “next generation” ideas to create “more scale at what we do.”
Q: Should we expect Google+ to remain as one big product?
A: I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications [Hangouts], photos and the Google+ stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.
Vic Gundotra, who was the Senior VP and head of Google+, left the company last May, sparking rumours that something was afoot within Google+. The writing was on the wall back then really, as responsibility for Google+ went to Dave Besbris who stated his three top priorities going forward were “Photos, Hangouts, Google+” – looks familiar.
Besbris has stated on the record that a big problem with the product (Google+) is confusion by users about what it’s supposed to be, and it seems that Pichai agrees with this observation, stating “We don’t expect Google as a first party service to provide all the answers.”
Pichai is delivering a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress 2015 next week – perhaps we’ll hear more about this change then, or this might be something that will have to wait until Google I/O in May, which will be Hangouts’ second birthday.
Would you like to see IM/Hangouts along with Photos split out of Google+, or do you think they should stay within it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.