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Google Drops Google+ Promotion From Gmail, Search & Other Google Services
Google takes another step away from the days of heavy promotion of the social network on other Google products.
Back when Google was promoting Google+ strongly, it added a link to the social sharing service from many of its other properties, including Gmail, YouTube and the main search page for logged-in users. Now those days are over; the overt link to Google+ has been dropped.
Google has removed the plus sign from the +[your name here] label that appeared in the upper right-hand corner of many Google properties. Your name remains but the hyperlink to Google+ is gone. You still can navigate to the social network by clicking on the grid of services next to your name.
This move continues a trend of Google backing away from its previous favored treatment of Google+, which went as far as making the creation of a Google+ account mandatory when creating accounts for other Google services. Google also made many efforts to integrate Google+ into its full product line, including Gmail contact management, a Google+ share box on Google’s main search page and display of Google+ authors in search results.
But much of that integration has been removed, dialed back or de-emphasized in the last year. The company hasn’t reported Google+ active user metrics since October 2013 and has stopped making a big deal about — or even mentioning — Google+ during events like its I/O conference.
Last week, removed Photos, one of Google+’s most popular features, from the social network and relaunched it as a standalone property, further fueling the narrative of Google+ decline and neglect.
However, the executive in charge of Google+, Bradley Horowitz, last week came to the defense of the network in an interview with Steven Levy. Horowitz pointed to new Google+ features such as Collections and said Google would continue to make changes to the network, doubling down on popular elements and getting rid of things that aren’t working.
“No, Google Plus is not dead,” Horowitz said. “In fact, it’s got more signs of life than it’s had in some time.”