Death Watch for Google Plus

Google Plus

Google’s grand plan to compete in every aspect of the social, search and you-name-it world does not seem to be working. Yes, people talked about the mysterious barge, and spun tales about Google Glass, but Google Plus (Google+) and its social circles are not exactly becoming the place to be. Based on their latest staffing reshuffles, it is also not the place to be employed. Is this the start of the Google+ death watch?

Last week, Vic Gundotra announced that his imminent departure after eight years. Google Plus was Gundotra’s baby and primary project for the many years. Google claimed that the departure news has no impact on its strategy for Google+ strategy and told sources that “they still have a talented team working to build great user experiences on Google+.” However, the tech world is abuzz with reports of changes being made.

Stories are circulating that the company is repositioning Google Plus as a platform not a product. If true, it essentially signifies the company is waving a white flag in front of other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Other reports say that Google has been reshuffling the staff of somewhere between 1,000 and 1,200 employees that used to form the core of Google Plus’ workforce. Yes, the moves might just be logistical given the new building on campus – and not an omen – if not coincidental, the timing seems suspicious timed with Gundotra’s departure. Tech Crunch reported that the company’s Hangouts team is moving to the Android team, with the photos team likely to follow.

It certainly looks like talent will be shifting away from Google+, like rats jumping off a sinking ship. It is not clear where the rest of the Google+ gang is headed, besides keeping the patient on life support.

What is obvious is that Google+ and its circles are not growing. The public has clearly figured that it does not need all things Google. Besides, Facebook – the purported Google+ competitor – is rumored to be falling out of favor with trendy types, teens and collegiates. So, Google+ was coming to the party as all the cool kids were leaving.

Some say the company’s problem is the egoistic belief that all things should be Google. Other companies realize that marketing works better if the children create their own identity outside the mother ship. Or, in the case of marriages between older people who have their own reputation, it works better to not change one’s name. The only tool in their arsenal that did not become a Google brand was YouTube, and who knows what the plan is for that.

This is a marketing strategy many companies have managed. Disney puts its name and the mouse on some things, but left ESPN, ABC and others alone. Facebook seems to have grasped the concept and left Instagram and WhatsApp alone. Even Apple did not capitalize on the Mac or MacBook and introduce a MacPod.

Google News, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs. A lot of people tap into Google’s world daily.  Okay, Google+ did not set the world afire. Maybe the Google+ death watch is the time for them to step back and consider how they want to brand themselves in the future, because all things Google is not working.

Opinion by Dyanne Weiss

New York Times
Tech Crunch

8 Responses to "Death Watch for Google Plus"

  1. Michael   July 8, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Google Plus recently celebrated its third and probably the last birthday on 28-Jun-2014. Three years and this service from Google has failed to make an impact in the market dominated by the likes of Facebook and tweets of Twitter.

    Google is also back-pedaling on the way it was using Google Authorship in search results to encourage authors to use the service.

    Is it really dying?

  2. Noel Nicolas   April 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Google plus was created by Google, and also all of it’s apps. So they are all named Google . . . Youtube was acquired by google, so the name stayed. Facebook bought Instagram, Whatsapp. It would be a disaster if FB change the name. They are all established apps.

  3. Kelly   April 28, 2014 at 1:18 am

    How about doing some of your own research. I really am losing faith in the reporting community.

  4. Jon Mason   April 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Why would Google+ be waving the white flag to twitter when Google+ has more users?

  5. Andrew   April 27, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I don’t think you understand Google+ or the comparative attitudes of users towards Google+ and Facebook, or the difference between volume and value.

    Suggest you check out the Google+ help pages and some of the successful profiles / pages / communities. Then you will see whats going on.

  6. AlexG   April 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I would like to know what previous experience in computers Dyanne Weiss has. All the previous articles are about health. What are the credentials? or is Dyanne just repeating like a parrot what she heard?

    • Jay   April 28, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Or it’s her opinion…You know, considering it does say “opinion by Dyanne Weiss” at the bottom.

  7. Owen Iverson   April 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    you couldn’t just hop over to and grab a current screenshot of their logo? how does this even happen? was this an image stored on your intranet from 10 years ago?


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