Google+’s Demise Continues to Be Predicted
Since it first rolled out, people have been declaring Google+ to be dead, and yet it keeps on rolling. It’s either the social network that wouldn’t die, or wouldn’t stop dying, depending on who’s telling it. The recent announcement of Vic Gundotra’s departure from Google only added to the rumors.
The Facts We Know
There aren’t a lot of known facts, beyond the departure of Vic Gundotra, the Google executive who’s guided Google+ from the beginning. Gundotra announced his plan to leave the company in a Google+ post on April 24th. He mentioned no reason for his departure.
Google co-founder Larry Page, added his own thoughts to Google+, thanking Gundotra for all his contributions to the company over 8 years. He gave no indication of a change of direction for Google+, saying, “In the meantime we’ll continue working hard to build great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans.”
Unconfirmed reports claim that Dave Besbris will be taking over management duties at Google+. This is according to several reports that claim to have vetted it from Google Marketing sources. Besbris has been Head of Engineering on Google+ since day 1. This move has not been publicly confirmed by Google, but seems like a very logical progression.
Now Come the Rumors
Google+ users are accustomed to regular declarations (usually from non-users) that the service is either dead or dying. The flames were fanned further by an article at TechCrunch that yet again predicted the social network’s imminent demise, while not naming any sources. Some changes, such as less tight integration throughout Google products, is certainly possible as this has been a widely unpopular policy. The article also points to rumors of large staff reallocations away from Google+, and that the future vision of the service will be more as a platform than a product. But again, without reliable attribution, there were very few points that could be considered anything other than unconfirmed rumors.
An article at Ars Technica also jumped on the bandwagon, citing nothing other than the non-attributed rumors in the TechCrunch piece as reasons for the impending death of Google+. Both articles cited Google’s official denial that Gundotra’s leaving the company will have any impact on the company’s plans for Google+.
So with all that, we are left with a few unanswered questions:
We’ll be watching to see what really happens out of all this. Our experience of Google+ has not been the “ghost town” that has so often been referenced, but rather the most active and engaged community we’ve found on any social network.
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