The writing sure seems to be on the wall for Google+. A few days after Google+ boss Vic Gundotra suddenly announced his departure from the company, Google has begun testing a new sign-in button for third-party developers around the Internet that replaces the branding of the company's social network
The two developments seem to suggest that Google may be getting ready to shut down Google+ or no longer emphasize it as one of its top products.
Google has begun giving some developers the option to display a blue button that shows the Google logo and says "Sign in with Google" in place of the company's standard red button that uses the Google+ icon, according to a report by The Verge.
The "Sign in with Google" button is used widely around the Internet by websites and mobile apps to help users quickly sign into new services with the same information they already use to log into Google services. It competes with a similar button by Facebook.
Google launched Google+ as a rival to Facebook in 2011, but although the service has registered more than half a billion users and rolled out several innovative features that have been copied by Facebook and others, the service has never really caught on.
Users may be registered for Google+, but many rarely visit the social network. Many of the signups came after Google began forcing its Gmail and YouTube users to register for Google+ accounts.
Gundotra's announcement of his resignation last week sparked speculation that Google could be getting ready to turn down the lights on Google+. TechCrunch reported that unnamed sources said Google has begun shifting some of its Google+ teams toward its Android division.
Google has denied that Gundotra's announcement means Google+ is going away, and in regards to the blue sign-in button, the company said it is simply "always testing things."
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Posted: 2014-05-05 @ 9:45am PT
This weekend ComScore reported that G+ is now the 15th most popular downloaded app. You don't download that app for any other reason than to use G+ (since Google has a separate app for Gmail, Maps, Photos, YouTube, etc).
It would seem your headline is not in line with the facts. I'm sure it got you plenty of clicks though. Bravo.
Posted: 2014-05-02 @ 8:41pm PT
*If* it goes, I won't miss G+, but frankly this seems to me just that Google is being reasonable and less aggressive about imposing G+ on everybody. I like some Google services, G+ is not one of them. I stopped using their search engine when they started personalizing. I rather pick and choose for myself than having a commercial interest editing the web for me. One way or another, the top ten Internet sites are Google or Facebook controlled, so they are here to stay in one form or another.
Posted: 2014-05-02 @ 2:00pm PT
I see a lot of people are latching on to Vic's departure to assume it means something negative for G+. We get it, you hate Google or G+.
Yet all I hear when I see so many people trying to inject meaning into something that they cannot possibly know (as no real details have been released) all I see is a lot of silly angst.
The head of a department leaving doesn't indicate a negative any more than Rubin leaving as head of Android indicated its demise..quite the opposite in fact.
For whatever reason some folks are so emotionally against the idea of G+ succeeding that they can't seem to cope with the fact that others do use and enjoy the service.
Maybe its time to stop assuming negative press equates with reality as all indications are that G+ will continue. Google even announced new features today.