In a bid to boost its social networking site Google+, Google is separating its “Photos” product from its Google+ social network which will henceforth be called as “Streams”. Google product Vice President Bradley Horowitz will now be in charge of Google’s Photos and Stream products and will be taking over from David Besbris.
“Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true — I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!” says Bradley Horowitz on Google+. “It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.“
With this move, Google wants its Google+ social network to boost its failing popularity and make it as successful as its other services such as Google Search, Gmail, Chrome and Maps. Sundar Pichai, Senior VP at Google had said in a recent interview that Photos and Hangouts might be separated from the main Google+ within a short time. “I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications, photos and the Google+ Stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area,” he said.
Google has recently acquired Odysee, a mobile photo backup and sharing service that could enhance user photo sharing on Google+. Odysee’s technology allows users to backup and sync photos/videos from several mobile devices and share them with others. This would certainly help Photos as it is going to be a standalone product now.
Google+ has faced a lot of criticism as it has failed to come up the level of Facebook and Twitter till now, but the Google top brass isn’t ready to give up just yet. They are hoping to infuse new energy by splitting it into three separate products – Photos, Streams and Hangouts.
Hangouts has been designed as an “all purpose communication tool” having text messaging as well as audio and video. As Horowitz explains, “It’s texting, it’s telephony, it’s one-to-one, it’s many-to-many, it’s consumer, it’s enterprise… We’re trying to do something broader that helps people communicate wherever they are using whatever products they prefer. It’s not like throwing a dart and hitting one app like ephemeral imaging.“
It will be interesting to see how these changes affect the popularity of Google+.