You can be honest... that removing the content and contact discovery tool Incoming
was done to reduce visibility of, and the costs of responding to, spam. I can completely sympathize with that. But the sad thing is that there are so few features on G+ which aid in content discovery. The site is already dominated by a few people chosen for Google's suggested user list, and in so many cases, What's Hot
simply provides an extension of their already ridiculous reach. Google said the suggested user list was chosen by interactivity, but there's a lot of evidence to reveal that positioning as a farce. But even if we completely accepted Google's false premise, research on social networks states pretty clearly that interactivity is important, but not a complete or sufficient metric to reward:"Participation between users is predicted by social motivations, such as maintaining connectivity, and sense of belonging; while participation directed to the whole community is predicted by the individual need of providing information which is centered on informative content and not social interaction."Motivations to Participate in Online Communitieshttps://www.msu.edu/~lampecli/papers/pap1604_lampe.pdf
In other words, it seems that Google has gone way overboard in promoting a few chatty folks, celebrities and Google partners, while ignoring the basics on a broader diversity of factors which drive healthy communities. Hey, it's your soup... you can put whatever you want into it... but I'm rooting for Google. I'd rather see Google succeed, in spite of itself.
Claiming that the recommended user list is the answer to content discovery (when it specifically leaves out 99.999% of the community and their content) is the height of blind arrogance. Go ahead and propagate interaction data ridiculously favoring a little over one one-millionth of your community here on G+ into Google search, and see how that works for your core search business. When corporations, small businesses and sole proprietors realize that they've been put at a huge disadvantage, poof, there goes your core search business. Maybe it's all part of a convoluted Google strategy to motivate them to come over to G+, but it gets harder to remake G+ into a level playing field with each passing day, but creating a potentially existential risk for Google is a dangerous precipice to dance along the edge of.
It's not your tools which are broken, but your strategy, and that's what opens the door wide open for another company like Apple or Yahoo to step in and better understand and meet the needs. I sincerely hope that Google eventually comes to recognize this, and starts to address the underlying issues before that happens.