Google recently announced that it will no longer require users to have a Google+ account to make use of the many different services the company offers, unfortunately this raised numerous questions as to what the future might hold for the internet giant’s social media platform. This recent move adds up to the also recent separation of Google Photos from Google+, previously the photo backup service was a strong feature of Google+ and the one that attracted the most users; after the launch of Google Photos as a stand alone app during this year’s Google I/O developers conference, the company announced that the overall strategy with Google+ was soon to drastically change, separating the service into two separate sections, namely Streams and Photos. These moves revealed that Google no longer is trying to directly compete with other social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, but instead is looking to offer a completely different experience. But what exactly led Google to quietly reshaping its own social media website into something almost entirely different from what the company originally had in mind?
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Back in April during an interview, several former Google employees discussed what led to the downfall of Google+. The first problem that the former Googlers noted was that Google created the social media platform to directly compete with Facebook, but tried too hard to make it utterly similar to it, instead of just taking cues from what users already enjoyed from the social network. Another similar point from several former Google employees was that Google+ was released “late to market”, as Facebook launched on February 2004, whereas Google+ was launched on June 2011, which means that there was a 7 year gap between the two services. This gap meant that most users were already accustomed to the way Facebook operated, and a brand new social network was not going to be accepted easily.
Even if Google didn’t continue to significantly pursue the future of Google+ as it was previously apparent when even Larry Page, Google’s co-founder discussed the great possibilities that the social media website held, it led to the seamless login system that is implemented in all Google services and also created an even bigger interest in the company; this to Google could be considered as a success.