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.