March 4, 2015

Identity Crisis Averted: The Bright Future of Google+

Business people searching for a better strategy on a chessboard.

By Megan G.

Some serious feng shui has been happening with Google personnel, including the staff of Google’s European operations  and their technological facility, Google X.  The most exciting news for us at Tek Shouts!, however, has to be the changes happening with Google+.  David Besbris officially stepped down as the head of Google+, leaving room for Bradley Horowitz to take over as VP of Google+ Photos and Streams.

In Horowitz’s Google+ post about this advancement, he doesn’t mention leading Google+ as a whole, instead saying he’s “excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!”  That’s a curious choice of words.  According to recent updates about Google’s view of its social network, this change in staff may signify a shift in the identity of Google+. 

Why is Google+ Failing?

It’s no secret that Google+ has been branded a failure as a social sharing site.  As a competitor to Facebook, it has certainly suffered (then again, so has everyone).  On the other hand, by removing the ill-fated label of “social network,” we can reveal how Google+ can succeed beyond its +1’s, comments, and shares. 

As another addition to this Google staff shakeup, Sundar Pichai became the Senior VP of Google Products—including Chrome and Apps—in October of last year.  He has been one of the most visible Google representatives in recent news, as he has plans to improve the Google’s revenue via ad placements.  Pichai also has some words about the Google+ platform, and remains optimistic about its past and future.  

Pichai considers Google+ Stream and its role as “common identity” across Google products immensely valuable to the company.  However, considering how weakened the brand of Google+ has become, a shakeup of this identity may be necessary.  In regards to the network’s future, the VP also stated that Google+ will break apart:
"I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications, photos and the Google+ Stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area."
Hmm… so, perhaps the predictions about the death of Google+ were right.  Too bad nobody called the three brilliant phoenixes rising from its ashes.

Three Google+ Applications Are Better Than One 

Communications (or Google+ Hangouts), Photos, and Stream; a trinity of features that showcases the strongest aspects of Google+.  Unfettered from their “social network” moniker, these three areas can focus and fix their current issues, then expand into something greater. 

Google has already acquired Odysee to buff their Google+ Photos feature with offline capabilities, and Bradley Horowitz will work to improve the Photos and Streams even further.  In fact, Google+ Stream just received a mobile redesign last Wednesday. 

We’re just waiting on a Hangouts update, Google!  The Tek Team knows you won’t disappoint.  
What do you think of this Google+ update?  Do you think the breakup is promising or is Google just grasping at straws?  Let Tek Shouts! know in the comments. 


  1. Sure, no one can beat Facebook (for now), but if this is done right Google+ could become an important staple in the social media world. I think it's a good idea for Google to use the foundation they already have to grow and expand in a way they haven't tried before.

    1. Happy Monday, Jessamyn!

      Thank you for your thoughts on Google+! It seems most people have written it off as a failed project. It's nice to see that other web-users, including us, believe that it has potential to move beyond it's label as a social platform. It will be interesting to see exactly what "communications, Photos, and Stream" as separate entities really means.


      The Tek Team