After Vic Gundotra announced he was leaving Google+, we started to hear all sorts of talk about how Google’s social network was in trouble and that they would be slowly but surely phasing it out. Since then, we have seen some additional separation between G+ and other Google services, but nothing that spells immediate doom for Google+.
Now in a new Q&A session with Re/Code, current Google+ chief Dave Besbris says that the social network isn’t going anywhere and is still very much a priority for the company. As he puts it:
We’re actually very happy with the progress of Google+. [CEO Larry Page] said this at the time that Vic transitioned that he’s going to continue working on building this stuff, that he’s very happy with it. The company is behind it. I have no idea where these rumors come from, to be honest with you.
Besbris also indicates that Google+ isn’t necessarily about competing directly with other social networks like Facebook. Instead, he says they created Google+ “to make users happy” and to not necessarily cater to the same crowd as other networks.
This is certainly true in my experience, as a user of both Facebook and Google+. I personally prefer the latter when it comes to satisfying my ‘nerd’ side: tons of epic nerd-approved conversations, news and more going on in the world of Google+. On Facebook, I mostly keep up with my family and see people putting up annoying chain-type letters that claim I’ll die if I don’t respond. But here I am still standing after ignoring countless hundreds of these death threats, so I win.
So what is next for Google+, and is there an end game in sight?
I don’t think of it as an end game, I think we’re in social — like we’re in everything at Google — for the long haul. We said this at the beginning of the company, we make long-term bets, we make long-term decisions. Social is a whole aspect of computing, much like any other area you would imagine at Google. Behind every one of these screens is a user, it’s an actual person. People are social creatures, they want to share things, they want to learn from each other, they want to ask questions. That’s really important for us as a company how we can deliver on that.
The big takeaway from the Q&A session is that Google is happy with how things have progressed and is in this for the long haul, and while the social network may continue to evolve, Google is far away from throwing in the towel. To check out the full Q&A, you’ll want to head on over to Re/Code. What do you think of Google+, like the community as it stands? If not, what would you like to see Google change before you’d ever consider actively participating in the G+ community?