It’s hard not to notice all the rumours about Google phasing out some functionality and I see that Google’s Bradley Horowitz has confirmed that he’s excited about future product direction for Google+, Photos, and Hangouts, but at this point, even Google+’s Google+ Page is not giving away any of the details about the major changes.
With that said in an exlusive interview with Forbes Magazine, Google’s Sundar Pichai laid out his vision for Google products and in that were some clues:
Q: Are there things in the portfolio that you want to jettison, that you don’t think Google needs?
A: When I used the word focused innovation, the word focused matters. We go through a healthy pruning. We constantly look at stuff and say, is it working well. But that’s not the main thing for where we are. I see a huge opportunity to innovate.
Q: The one thing that comes to mind is Google+. We haven’t seen a lot of new things there and many people outside of Google think it’s been a flop. What are the lessons you learned from it? What’s the future for it?
A: Google+ has always meant two things for us. There’s the stream in the product that you see. And for us, Google+ was also a way by which Google after many years, we made sure there’s common [login and] identity across our products. The second part was in many ways even more important than the first part. That part has worked really well for us. In terms of the stream itself, based on the stats we see, we have a passionate community of users. We would definitely like to see more scale at what we do. The team is working on a few next generation ideas. But to us these are two different things, and I don’t think we have always done a good job of explaining that.
Q: There are other parts of Google +, like photos, which people seem to like but seem to have been dormant because they are part of the larger product.
A: We are actively working on all of these areas. To me, photos is an important area. I see that as a specific problem space that’s different from the [Google+] stream.
Q: Should we expect Google+ to remain as one big product?
A: I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications [Hangouts], photos and the Google+ stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.
Subscribe for more on this topic coming soon!