“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Google has announced some new organizational plans for Google+ and corresponding services. Google+ is being broken into two different services: Photos and Stream. Hangouts messenger will remain its own standalone service. Google+ Vice President of Product Bradley Horowitz is now in charge of the new Photos and Stream products.
Photos is the place where users can currently backup and edit photos in their Google account. Google+ has always had great tools for photos, and now it should be more accessible to people who might not want to use Google+. This actually makes a lot more sense, especially with the news that “Google Photos” is being added to Drive.
Here’s a comment from Google+ head engineer Yonatan Zunger:
A lot of misunderstanding and speculation. :) The internal org was renamed “Photos and Streams,” because Sundar likes org names that match what the teams do. And since our org includes Photos, Google+, Blogger, and News, there you have photos, plus several streams of content.
No big user-facing changes tied to this at all.
Stream is essentially the core Google+ experience, plus News and Blogger. Users won’t notice any differences in their experience with the Google+ Stream. A lot of people are calling all of this the “death of Google+,” but it seems to be more about not forcing Google+ on everyone. You can use Google’s great photo tools and cloud storage without having to use Google+. For those of us who use Google+ it will remain a great social network.