Google Plus might be dead, as ‘Streams’ and ‘Photos’ take its place

Company has launched new social services, and the fate of the much maligned Google+ remains unclear

Google is splitting its social network apart, breaking it into “Photos” and “Streams” and leaving the fate of the often mocked Google+ service hanging in the balance.

The two new features will be run by Bradley Horowitz, he announced on Google+ this morning. He did not mention Google+, or the more popular Hangouts chat service.

Photos and Streams are likely an attempt by Google to take the more popular and successful services that are integrated within Google+ — such as its photo editing tools and its integration with other software — and ditch the Google+ branding.  The service was launched in 2011, but has struggled to find regular users with many mocking the service for remaining largely dormant.

The company hasn’t made any announcement on the future of the Google+ brand. But Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products at Google, told Forbes last week that the company would work to split up the different pieces of the service.

"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 in an interview. Hangouts remains the most popular social service that hasn’t been split off, and its fate remains unclear.

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