Google’s Horowitz: “No, Google Plus Is Not Dead.”
"In fact, it’s got more signs of life than it’s had in some time," says Google's vice president of photos, streams and sharing.
Hold those obituaries for Google+.
Bradley Horowitz, the Google executive responsible for the nearly four-year-old social network, gave strong support for Google+ in an interview with Steven Levy of Backchannel. And asked point-blank whether Google+ is dead, Horowitz said: “No, Google Plus is not dead. In fact, it’s got more signs of life than it’s had in some time.”
Instead, Horowitz said, Google+ is adjusting, adding features such as the recently launched Collections, splitting off products like Google Photos into standalone apps and removing “things that aren’t working.” Horowitz declined to discuss what isn’t working but said to expect more adjustments soon.
“It’s fair to say you’re about to see a huge shift in what Plus is becoming,” he said. “It’s a shift in response to what users are telling us. That’s a very healthy and natural thing. As opposed to sticking to strategies of years ago, we’re actually adapting to how the product is successful in market and doubling-down on that.”
Horowitz’s remarks about Google+ are the most expansive by a Google executive since the social network’s founding father and biggest booster Vic Gundotra left the company in April 2014. Gundotra’s departure sparked speculation that Google+ would be killed or broken up into its component parts, speculation that until now Google hasn’t done much to rebut.
It appears that that will change under Horowitz’s guidance. A co-founder of Google+, he took control of the network in March, taking the reins of a department called Photos and Streams. Today, we learned that he’s added Sharing to that title and is now vice president of Photos, Streams and Sharing, which could be a nod to people who have argued Google+ is being neglected.
So what is the plan for Google+? Horowitz said:
Three and a half years into this journey, we’re looking at what the users are telling us Google Plus is good for, and doubling down on those uses. For instance, one particular use-case on Google Plus is people aligning around common interests. If I’m interested in astronomy and I want to meet other people interested in astronomy, we think we have a good solution — Collections, a new feature that we launched just two weeks ago. It’s the first in a series of pivots. We’re also moving aside the things that either belong as independent products, like photos, or eliminating things that we think aren’t working.
Read Levy’s full interview of Horowitz here.