In the wake of today’s abrupt announcement that Vic Gundotra is leaving Google, many are wondering what will happen to the social platform. TechCrunch is citing some sources who say the platform will cease to exist as we know it, with the team being split up and ushered to new buildings and experiences. Google may be itching to make their social layer a back-end solution rather than a standalone platform.


According to their sources, the Hangouts team will move to Android along with the Google+ photos team. Others are also set for Android, though Google isn’t quite sure who is going, and where. Google+ isn’t considered “dead” yet, according to TechCrunch — more like the “walking dead”.

The expectation is that Google will push all talent behind various mobile efforts, and some will be charged with creating widgets for Google+, rather than consider Google+ its own platform. Additionally, there will no longer be a required cobbling of Google+ into various apps or services, as has been the case in the past.

Though it’s been widely reported — but not officially confirmed — that Dave Besbris will take over for Gundotra, sources claim “parts” of Google+ now sit with a “person responsible for Chrome”. Nobody was specifically named, but the man “responsible” for Chrome is Sundar Pichai — the same guy “responsible” for Android, where much of the rest of the team is said to be going.
A Google representative categorically denied the information, saying Google+ will go on as it has been.

While Vic is leaving immediately, the source made a passing comment that it may not be voluntary. “When you fire the top dog and take away all resources it is what it is” they said, with regard to what will become of Google+. We’re hearing — independent of TechCrunch — that Besbris’ appointment may be on an interim basis, with no plan to make the job permanent for anyone. That lends credence to the source’s info, but without official word from Google, we just don’t know yet.

Source: TechCrunch

  • Otis Grant

    All this because one person is leaving? Calm down. I’m sure Google+ will survive his departure.

    • Sean

      Have you read the article? Apparently not. Here is a clue:
      ” with the team being split up and ushered to new buildings and experiences.”. So it’s not just one person.

      Stop to comment articles you haven’t read.

      • JayDelz

        Righhttt…. since this article is based on unofficial “sources”, I’m not counting Google+ out. If I’m wrong, hell, the “Walking Dead” is still pretty damn cool and popular.

        Besides, G+ is the social spine that connects all of Google’s products together. This was their long-term plan and they’re not going to just abandon it.

      • AnonGuy

        Yes, the Social Spine that has me disabling apps like Hangouts, Google+ [Photos] on my device. The Social Spine that has made it impossible for me to Reach out for support in the Google Play Store for apps that I paid money for. The Social Spine that locks you out of core functionality of an app (like Sending Pictures in a Messaging App, Setting or Changing a Display Picture) without allowing Google to get and broadcast personal information about you to the internet…
        The problem with Google+ isn’t that it’s a bad “Social Network.”
        The problem with it is that Google is basically shoving it down their users’ throats. Whether Facebook is better than Google+ doesn’t matter. The difference is that if you don’t want Facebook, you don’t have to have it and your device doesn’t stop functioning at the level of competing devices if you choose not to have it.
        iMessage (iOS) or Skype (WP8) doesn’t stop letting you Change your iCloud/Microsoft Account display Picture simply because you don’t have Facebook. They don’t disallow you from sending a Photo via IM because you don’t have Facebook. Windows Store and App Store do not stop you from commenting on apps you PAID for because you don’t have Facebook. Those platforms don’t require Facebook to Auto-Upload Pictures (OneDrive, Photo Stream), or even socially engage on them (Shared Photo Streams, SkyDrive Commenting).
        That’s why people don’t like Google+. Because in many cases, they dont’ have a choice to use it. That choice is made for them by virtue of tying core functionality in other services to it. So, if they want to use ‘X’ Google has it set up that Google+ is mandatory due to the one or two couple features that one requires that require it to be active on your account.
        Facebook generally doesn’t have that issue. Some services use it as a Log In mechanic, but you do not buy an iOS, Blackberry, or Windows Phone device and find it is crippled functionally (in the stock apps) if you fail to use Facebook, Blackberry Channels, Soc.l, or whatever social service those companies want to push down your throat.

      • JayDelz

        Google doesn’t force you to use Google+ on Android phones, nor Hangouts. Yes, those apps are there like Microsoft puts their products on Windows computers and tablets, but you don’t have to use Google+ for anything if you don’t want to. Use third-party apps – your android phone will still let you send pictures through other apps, etc. Want to change your display picture? Upload a picture – you’re not forced to only use one from Google+. Need support on your Google Play store app? EMAIL the dev.

        I think, my friend, you’re confusing your Google account with Google+. And we are talking about Google+ here. Many of my friends use their Android phones just fine and don’t use Google+ at all for social networking. That includes using a different gallery app other than the Photos app which is, yes, deeply intertwined with Google+.

        I think perhaps you don’t really know how to use your android phone. 3rd party apps will let you do anything that doesn’t need to go through your Google+ account, or even your Google account. Let me know if you need help with that.

  • token420

    this organic occurrence will only result in ‘what doesn’t kill it makes it stronger’. room has now been made for fixes, growth, and probably big changes

    • AbbyZFresh

      Hopefully Google finally kills it and returns YouTube back to normal.

      • token420

        my main complaint is Uh oh. Something’s not right.

      • Miles Bader

        Huh? Despite all the whining at the time, youtube comments have been vastly improved by the G+ integration…

  • Marco Lara

    I hope not Google+ is what I use for social media….facebook is horrible and is getting worst over time with the ads.

  • Guy Frederick

    Long live g+

  • Abe

    The reason that I know people hate Google+ for is that it’ll splash one’s photos and everything on the net as soon as one joins. Otherwise it wouldn’t die.

    • guest

      Yes, the worst place they “splash one’s photos” is smack-dab in the middle of developer’s Google PlayStore listing. The capability of so-called reviewers (anyone with a bogus G+ account) to put their picture and comments right in the middle of one’s PlayStore Page is aweful. This forces anyone that wants to look at the statistics or requirements of your app to scroll through other people’s offensive images and opinions. There should be a way to disable all this as there is in YouTube. It is outrageous that anyone in a few seconds could display anything in the middle of what may have taken years to fine-tune and get to display just right! If Vic was the one that caused this to happen then door did not slam his backside hard enough on the way out!!!