Commentary

Google+ Revamped, Indifference Continues

If it were anyone else but Google, people would probably stop picking on Google+, the spunky little social network that both couldn’t and didn’t. But in light of Google’s dominant position in large swathes of the Internet economy, its chronic failure to break into one of the few remaining areas not under its control is a cause for much hilarity.

Google kept up the good, if entirely futile, fight this week with another revamp for Google+ that makes it easier to use (and possibly differentiates it somewhat from rivals like Facebook and Tiwtter) by restructuring it around user interests. The redesign is also intended to make it more accessible on smartphones and tablets, and to Google director of streams Eddie Kessler, who revealed the changes in a blog post.

The new format highlights two features, Communities and Collections, that allow users to connect with each other around shared interests. Google+ is also now consistent in format and appearance across the mobile Web, Android, and iOS apps. Users who want to access the new Google+ will have to opt in, reflecting the company’s more laid back approach to social media.

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As noted, Google+ continues to limp along despite repeated setbacks and an ever-shrinking bailiwick. Back in March it was chopped up into its main component parts, photos and streams, as the revamped sharing platform received a new boss, Bradley Horowitz, following the previous departure of Vic Gundotra.

Before that, in September of last year Google stopped requiring new users to create Google+ accounts, suggesting the search giant’s commitment to its social platform was wavering. It also stopped using Google+ logins as cross-platform credentials for Google-owned sites like YouTube.

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