Google seems to be everyday deviating a bit more from the original vision it had for its somewhat controversial social network Google+. Since its launch 4 years ago, the company invested an incredible amount of time and effort towards shaping what was supposed to be the world’s best and most innovative social network, different from its competitors such as Facebook and LinkedIn; unfortunately, Google+ wasn’t as well-adopted as the internet giant would have hoped it to be, as it was just too similar to Facebook and did not offer a killer feature to convince users on the verge of switching to Google’s social network. This persistent unpopularity led to the eventual downfall of Google+, which despite Google’s efforts never really took off. Today, it is rather clear that the internet giant is slowly separating the core elements that made up the social network, which might lead to the inevitable demise of the once vital Google+.
After Google’s announcement on Monday, in which Bradley Horowitz said that another major change was on its way to the whole Google environment, as users are no longer required to have a Google+ profile to make use of the different services that the company has to offer. This created rather a huge impact which was interpreted as Google’s admitting the defeat of the original goal behind Google+; originally the social network was supposed to provide users with a seamless login system and identity across all of Google’s services.
Unfortunately for Google, today’s society is hugely based on social media, making a dedicated social network more than a basic necessity for the company. As Brett Northart, former analyst and founder of Le Tote, noted, “With desktop web, people discovered content through search. Now they discover content through social”. Which means that Google cannot dominate a market that no longer finds products exclusively by search, as users now rely almost entirely on social networks to discover new products and services. For Google, this dictates that the company’s own social network cannot be shut down in a near future as it might still serve as a way to further engage with its users. Facebook is the leading social network across the globe, trailed by LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. If any of the competing companies were to be suddenly shut down it would only increase Facebook’s dominance. As of today, Google has only separated some of the core elements of Google+, such as Google Photos, but hasn’t still shut down the website and as it still serves a stable source of income, Google+ will still be around for a while.