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More Unbundling Evidence? Google+ Making Photos Available On Google Drive
Company will push Google+ photos to its storage product, but still remains mum about plans for its social network.
Google announced today that it will make photos from Google+ available within users’ Google Drive accounts. It’s a handy new feature for people who use Google+ to store their digital images.
But is it a sign? Well, maybe.
It could be more evidence that Google plans to dismantle Google+ and concentrate more on the sum of its parts, especially the popular photo and Hangouts features. Early this month, Google VP Bradley Horowitz took control of Google+, announcing that he is now in charge of the company’s “Photos and Streams” products. The fact that Horowitz didn’t invoke the Google+ brand in his announcement, coupled with then-fresh remarks by Google SVP Sundar Pichai hinting at a Google+ split prompted a wave of stories in the tech press that Google is planning to pull apart the social network. Some even reported that Google had made the split official.
So far there has been no official word from Google about the issue. However, Google+’s head engineer Yonatan Zunger commented on Google+ that the changes are organizational rather than product changing. “A lot of misunderstanding and speculation. :)” Zunger wrote in early March. “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.”
That singular denial hasn’t stopped the speculation. And Google’s official silence about the social network that it used to regularly tout as a priority is only fueling the fire, making it natural that any new wrinkle inspires fresh reading of the tea leaves.
The Drive update, which is rolling out today on iOS, Android and the web, will create a new photo folder within Drive. New photos will start appearing immediately and the full Google+ library will be available in a few weeks. Users will be able to organize photos within Drive folders, but that organization will not be reflected within Google+.
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