Google+ is changing. In fact, there’s been a lot of speculation around Google+ splitting up and even ceasing to exist altogether. We’re going to try our best to dispel the rumors and share the facts.

What’s happening?

The facts

Google+ is splitting into two separate entities: Photos and Streams. But this split only counts for Google+’s internal operation. According to Google, there will be no user-facing divorce for Google+. More on that in just a minute.

The rumors

At first, it seemed as though Photos and Hangouts would be separate from the Stream. No one was sure if Google would remove the two products from Google+ or offer them as standalone products separate from Google+.

Then, Forbes published an article with comments from Sundar Pinchai, Senior Vice President of Products at Google, about Google+ Photos, Hangouts and the Stream:

“I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications, photos and the Google+ Stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.”

Later, Yonatan Zunger, Chief Architect for Google+, further commented on the misunderstanding:

“A lot of misunderstanding and speculation. 🙂 The internal org was renamed “Photos and Streams,” because Sundar likes org names that match what the teams do. And since our org includes Photos, Google+, Blogger, and News, there you have photos, plus several streams of content.”
“No big user-facing changes tied to this at all.”

What’s really happening?

Now that Google made it clear there’s no real user-facing change happening, we can’t help but wonder what’s really going on or what this means for us marketers.

With more time dedicated to Photos and Streams, we think Google plans to dedicate a lot of its attention to these areas. This can only mean new features and better products for its users. In fact, starting today, the photos and videos you keep in Google+ Photos will also be available in Google Drive.

The big question remains, will Google+ persevere? How will the internal changes at Google+ manifest for its users? Will it spell the end of the social network for good?

Google+ has a passionate community of users. The last shared numbers show the social network has 300 million active monthly users. Although in its four years of existing, it’s failed to differentiate itself from other social channels. As we all know, the social landscape is in constant flux. Any potential player – new or long-established – is worth keeping an eye on. And that’s just what we do at globalHMA!