Google+’s Vic Gundotra announced his departure from Google+ this week, followed by predictions of Google+’s death, and Google+ as a social zombie “…ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.(@TechCrunch)”
What’s Changing with Google+
- Google+ talent is getting shifted to Android
- Google+ may be moving toward being a platform vs. a product
- Some Google+ integration with other products (e.g Youtube) is no longer required
Why Google+ is More than Social
Google+ to me has been increasingly the ‘common-glue’ off sorts between all of Google’s various products. One used to have to log in separately for each product, but that hasn’t been necessary for a while since integrating + into everything.
It seems to serve as the central hub for aggregating one’s cumulative behavior/identity across all Google products.
It was/is kind of always been a failure as social platform, but I’ll guess is one of the world’s largest and most thorough clearinghouses of ‘personal’ information for users who frequent Google products.
“In my opinion the point of G+ was to explicitly opt users into cross browser/device targeting and unify all Google products under one account (e.g. Youtube, Gmail, etc). As a social network G+ fails, but as an advertising and identity platform things are just getting started” – Nii Ahene, CPC COO
This makes all of demographic and interest-based tracking/targeting through Google Ads possible.
And probably has many other possible uses/ramifications that we are not or are marginally aware of (ie Google tracking everywhere you go if your GPS is on your phone and you are logged in. Google knows where you live, where you work, and probably a lot more than the let on.
So in that sense, Google+ is, and will continue to be, a huge success, regardless of its product status. A platform seems much lasting and permanent to me anyways, so I almost see this as an upgrade.