Google+ Photos to be separated from Google+

Google+ logoBack in April, Vic Gundotra, a senior executive at Google and the leader of Google+, left the company. Shortly afterward, reports surfaced claiming that Gundotra's departure was part of a plan to back away from the original Google+ strategy of forcing users into the service and to drastically cut the division resources.

A report from Bloomberg claims that the first big service on the chopping block is Google+ Photos, one of the social network's best features. Bloomberg says the service will be given "more autonomy" from Google+ and "may be rebranded" in order to pull in more people who otherwise wouldn't use the services thanks to its association with Google+. Separating Google+ Photo from Google+ would seemingly turn it into a Flickr-style service—a standalone photo hosting site that would compete on features and storage options rather than the social network a person chooses to use.

Google+ Photos to be separated from Google+

Google+ Photos has a number of features that could help it stand out in the photo hosting space. It has a ton of cloud smarts, which Google calls "Auto-Awesome," that can automatically tweak photos to look better and can combine several pictures into an animated gif. The one area that would seriously need improvement is the free storage amount, which sits at a paltry 15GB shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. The Yahoo-owned Flickr offers 1TB of storage for free.

As the initial reports have predicted, Google+ seems to have been on a slow decline since Gundotra left. The service was barely mentioned at Google I/O 2014, while there were 15 sessions dedicated to the service in 2013. We've also seen the company end its controversial real name policy and begin to move Google Hangouts away from Google+. With most of the additional services distancing themselves from the social network, Google+ looks like it will eventually be reduced to just a social stream.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google, Google+

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