Is the end near for Google+? Murmurs are getting louder in the tech community that Google+’s days are numbered after several ominous developments in the past few months.
First, in April, Google executive Vic Gundotra, the executive in charge of Google+, suddenly left the company citing family reasons. At the same time, it became apparent that many of the engineers responsible for building Google+ were being reassigned to other areas of the company. Then in late May, at a code conference in California, Google co-founder Sergey Brin told the audience that “It was probably a mistake for me to be working on anything tangentially related to social to begin with.”
Google+ has never reached the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, achieving only a fraction of the active users in a month of their two major competitors, although it has found niche popularity in certain communities (like the photography community). Google has a history of killing products with avid user bases that it doesn’t consider profitable or a success – most recently and notably Google Reader. It also has a history of letting products die a slow death by not developing or maintaining them – most notably at the moment Feedburner, which is also on a deathwatch in the community of online publishers that rely on it. Continue Reading →