Report: Google+ Future In Flux As Gundotra Departs

The sudden retirement of the man behind Google+, Vic Gundotra, was emotional and certainly appeared genuine, but there have been an additional impetus behind Gundotra’s decision to call it a career at Google.

According to a TechCrunch report, Google+ is being dismantled--or at least, Google is completely changing how it views and uses the social network. The report says that Google+ will be considered as more of a platform than a product, a backbone as opposed to a front end.

Vic Gundotra

Somewhere between 1,000 to 1,200 Googlers work on G+, but many of them are being reassigned to other groups. For example, the Google Hangouts team is being moved over to the Android group, and the Google+ Photos folks may be sent that way soon, as well.

A result of these changes is that G+ won’t be forced down users’ throats as much as it has been. A little G+ integration is great, but may feel that it’s been rather overbearing, making its presence know too strongly in otherwise beloved products like YouTube and Gmail.

What Google+ will become remains something of a mystery, but what is clear is that it is no longer going to be a Facebook or Twitter competitor--and that’s just as well. Google+ can be a powerful platform, and there are plenty of great features (such as the aforementioned Hangouts), but from the get-go the service has always been missing that je ne sais quoi of Facebook and Twitter.

Whether Gundotra’s departure resulted in these measures or if the changes influenced his decision to leave we may never know, but it appears as though G+ will never be the same.