Google+ is Google No More
When Google+ launched over 4-years ago, the idea was to both promote a new social network, and create a unified account system and social spine for all things Google.
As this latest blog post from +Bradley Horowitz
admits, they didn't get it all right. Google+ the identity layer was forced on people who had no desire to use the network; integrations with the network became nearly ubiquitous across properties; the 'social spine' became a privacy nightmare for some people; and the effort became at times so obnoxiously in-your-face it soured people on both the social network and the larger ecosystem.
In short, Google+ was the branding equivalent of New Coke. Much like the Coca Cola Corporation, Google is recognizing this, as recent deintegrations (removals of Google+ features from other Google properties) have shown.
Now the final, major step will be made: instead of Google+ accounts, Google will now simply use Google accounts, which by themselves aren't tied into social anything, private and unsearchable.
So is Google+ dead? No, fortunately not. While the Google brand reverts to Google Classic, Google+ will finally receive the type of focus many of us suggested it always needed: no longer a would-be "Facebook killer", the network can now presumably focus on what its most passionate users agree it is good for: discovering great content and accounts to follow (i.e. Twitter without the obnoxious limitations and fewer bots).
Google+ (the social layer) is Dead. Long live Google+ (the network)!