Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Why is Google+ Being Dismantled?

Notice anything new when logging on to any Google accounts? The tech giant is currently restructuring its social networking service as it tries to address user ire and compete with Facebook and Twitter.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said this week that it is revamping Google+ - created four years ago to compete better in the social networking space - to address user complaints and to move elements of Google+ into more discrete services.

The rejiggering of Google+ includes ending mandatory Google+ links to other services, which was a big bone of contention for many users.

"We want to formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google ... other than using Google+ itself," said Bradley Horowitz, Google's vice president of Streams, Photos, and Sharing, in a Google+ post. The upshot is that a Google+ account won’t be necessary anymore to comment on YouTube.

Horowitz added that the YouTube link to Google+ was "confusing" and "perhaps most controversially, integration with YouTube implied that leaving a comment on YouTube ... suddenly and unexpectedly required joining Google+."

That requirement triggered a petition in late 2013 that began with: "Google is forcing us to make google+ accounts."

But responding to user frustration is just one aspect of the changes. Google is also, in effect, dismantling Google+. Many elements of Google+ Photos have been moved into the new Google Photos app, Horowitz said in a post on Google's Official Blog.

Other features such as location sharing will be moved into Hangouts, Google’s chat app.

"We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful...Google+," Horowitz wrote.

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