The social media world has been waiting for news about the future of Google+ for some time now. Many professionals expected an update at this years Google I/O, but that conference took place without a word about Google+. They did, however, launch Google Photos, a successful Google+ component, that now stands on its own.
But two days ago, Bradley Horowitz, the new head of Google SPS (Streams, Photos and Sharing) blogged about the future of Google+ (in a blog post named after a Radiohead song – press play below and listen to the song while you read this blog article) along with a twin blog posting from sister operation YouTube.
When I use Facebook, I don’t want to visit one destination for my stream, another for photos and yet another for video. It’s all in the same place. I wanted to have the same experience with Google as I blogged about earlier here. However, Google have decided to do it the other way around. Photos is now a stand-alone service. Google+ and YouTube are now officially divorcing. You will have to go to three destinations for your stream, photos and video.
A new feature called Google Collections has quietly been added to Google+ and it seems that the social network will now focus on taking on Pinterest rather than Facebook.
The most important news for many users will be the fact that you no longer need a forced Google+ account for other Google services. You can just use your standard e-mail credentials for Photos, YouTube, Gmail, etc. The Google+ log-in is reserved for Google+ only.
The biggest problem for Google+ is the bad press, where both mainstream media and the trade press keeps posting sensationalist stories about the fate of the network. Google+ is a top 3 social network, that is very popular among its users. This article tries to deal with that: Google+ Is Alive and Well Despite Persistent Media Reports.
I still think they should rename the network and call it Plus.com (the domain is available) and offer cool vanity URLs like http://www.plus.com/ronnierocket.