So Long, Google+. We Hardly Knew Ye.

Google Plus logoRaise your hand if you can tell us what these things have in common:

Orkut.
Dodgeball.
Latitude.
Buzz.
Wave.

Anyone?

The folks whose hands are raised can tell you that the list above is the ever-growing string of failed “social” networking attempts wrought by Google.

Now, it would seem that Google+, initially heralded as the great FACEBOOK KILLER (and honestly, people, can we please just stop with that?), appears poised to get added to that list with a big, fat, boring thumbtack.

Honestly. Though we know there are some of you who will swear up and down that you really like using G+ (and if you’re a photography person, that may have some merit), but c’mon. You might USE it, but … like? Enjoy? No, for the lion’s share of folks who use or have ever used it, Google+, as a social experience, is about as interesting as watching paint dry.

If you were just using it because you knew the posts in G+’s stream boosted your search rankings, it’s OK.

The writing has been on the wall for Google+ for some time. But last week, there were some louder rumblings that the social network (and we have such a hard time calling it that) was about to get the axe. Then, the boom was lowered.

Bradley Horowitz, Google’s Vice President, took over the G+ works and announced the network would be split into separate features (kind of like taking a used car and selling it for parts).

What does this mean? It’s not entirely clear as yet, but it looks like there will be three discrete applications that emerge from the Google+ rubble:

Hangouts. Arguably the most useful feature of G+, Hangouts will continue as a stand-alone app (and there was much rejoicing).

Photos. G+ is great for photo sharing, there’s no question about that (the capabilities there came from Picasa, which is one of the best photo apps ever to grace these here Internets).

Streams. Apparently, Streams will be what’s left after all the fun stuff is gone. The posts and whatnot that folks are sharing to boost their search rankings (not that there’s anything wrong with that) will be the stuff of which Streams is comprised. Yawn.

Google+, apparently, isn’t as great as the sum of its parts. Google is doing its best to spin all of this positively, of course. Their VP of Products, Sundar Pinchai, said, “For us, Google+ was always two things: a stream and a social layer. We’re at a point where things like photos and communications are very important. We’re reorganizing around that.”

To paraphrase, it just didn’t work out.

Ohhhh, Google. You so silly. Stop dabbling in social. Like Austin Powers might say, “It’s just not your bag, baby.” You are excellent at search. So, you know, just do that. Can we get a +1?

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