This year it managed to score only a passing reference in a demonstration of how Chromecast will allow you to beam a slideshow of your Google+ photos onto your television.
And this Google+ downplaying (no playing?) came on the same day Google announced elsewhere — er, on a Google+ post — that it would no longer be displaying Google+ profile photos and circle count on search pages. Those features have been a major selling point to encourage people to build out their Google+ profiles.
So what gives? Is this more evidence that Google is planning to deemphasize or even kill the network, which will turn three on Saturday?
The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo got a chance to ask Google CEO Larry Page about Google+ after the keynote. Page gave it his full support. Here’s the exchange:
Q. What’s going on with Google Plus?
A. Mr. Page: I think there’s a lot of things going on with Google Plus. I’m a very excited user of it. You saw some demos showing how it works with Chromecast — that’s one of the things I’ve been excited about. The service has been growing tremendously. People are always like, “Oh, what’s going on?” But for us, we’re superexcited about it because it’s a big service, growing continuously, since we launched it, at a high rate, and we’re making it better and better every day.
Q. Is “social” as important to you now as it was two years ago?
A. Mr. Page: Yes, if anything, probably more important. We have a very excited, dedicated community. People forget we’re able to make our services better by understanding your relationships, making sharing work and understanding identity. These are deep and important things for us as a company.
When people ask about Google Plus they think about it as, “I’m going to the stream.” For us, Google Play reviews are part of Google Plus, too. We see all those things growing and being important for us.
What do you think? Is this good news for Google+ and its loyal users, or were these just stock answers from Page?