Google’s Bradley Horowitz chose a fitting way in which to announce the end of Google+ – through a Google+ post.
Talking about the need for a ‘pivot’ he said, ‘We’re going to continue focusing Google+ on helping users connect around the interest they love, and retire it as the mechanism by which people share and engage within other Google products.’
This announcement comes after four long years of Google+ trying to compete in the same sharing capacity as Facebook and Twitter, with Horrowitz himself calling out the confusing aspects of the platform.
"This was a well-intentioned goal, but as realized it led to some product experiences that users sometimes found confusing. For instance, and perhaps most controversially, integration with YouTube implied that leaving a comment on YouTube (something users had obviously been doing successfully for years) suddenly and unexpectedly required "joining Google+."
The Google exec said that Google+ ‘now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love.’ His team, called SPS and standing for Streams, Photo and Sharing, will enable sharing without the need for a Google+ profile, while other Google+ features like Hangouts will be moved to other Google apps.
Signing off in what must be his last Google+ post, Horowitz concluded: "Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine."