If Google+ had a ‘Meh’ button, Google just pressed it today

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SAN FRANCISCO — There once was a social network Google was pushing heavily called Google+.

Well, that social network still exists. But during the keynote at company’s I/O developer conference today, it didn’t get a single mention as far as we noticed. Just a single break-out session carried Google+ in its title — about using the service to sign in to websites — giving it less prominence than, say, Glass, Nest, robotics, and something called the cloud.

That’s in stark contrast to the company’s all-Google+-all-the-time posture at this very conference just two years ago. Back then, there was news of a Google+ native app for Android, a slideshow feature, and a new way to invite people to events. Other news at the time included a History application programming interface (API) for integrating information from outside services and a spanking new Google+ iPhone app.

These days, though, social networks other than Google+ are top of mind.

Twitter is a publicly traded company now, and Facebook, which also trades on public markets, now boasts 1.28 billion monthly active users. Enterprise-focused social networks like Slack and Yammer have become respected.

As for Google+, well, it’s announced some feature updates in the past few months, but nothing groundbreaking. Modular cell phones, driverless cars, smartwatches, and cloud computing seem to have attracted far more resources and attention inside of the technology giant.

Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social, did depart from the company in late April, making it a possible factor in Google+ not cooking up anything for this year’s conference.

Google didn’t have much of an excuse for this, but it did respond to VentureBeat’s request for comment on the absence of Google+ at this year’s Google I/O:

This year, we’re focusing Google I/O around three key themes: Design, Develop, Distribute. To that end, our content and sessions aren’t necessarily focused around specific products but more generally about how Google can help you as a developer enrich the experience for your users and grow your audience. Topics and sessions will touch on multiple products and give developers a more holistic overview. Google+ is of course an important component to that, you can see it in topics like identity and our gaming platform, Google Play game services, to name a few.

So it seems social has become an add-on, and less of a star-studded, feature-rich service on its own. Perhaps next year Google will opt for a Google+ rebranding — sort of like what Google did with its television initiative today.

More information:

(from Wikipedia) Google+ is a social networking service operated by Google Inc. The service launched on June 28, 2011, in an invite-only testing phase. Google+ is built as a layer that not only integrates different Google social se... read more »

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40 comments
Orcas Island TV
Orcas Island TV

Net Neutrality isn't nearly as dangerous as Search Neutrality. We're screwed because Google isn't search neutral.


Tracy Simek
Tracy Simek

Was there ever a question about facebook winning?

nel b
nel b

id rather give up FB or Twitter before G+ !! so far is the best social platform for me !! go G+ !

Matt Bascom
Matt Bascom

I use Google Plus to post content too casual for Linkedin but more professional than Facebook. Each network provides an opportunity to speak to a different dedicated audience.

Dan Hossom
Dan Hossom

I don't know what y'all are on about, but G+ is awesome. Hangouts and circles are brilliant, just requires overcoming some neophobia and bam, very handy.

Jesse Garboden
Jesse Garboden

Google + doesn't make me depressed Because I can control what I see better into what Facebook thinks I would like better. Over the past week I have blocked hundreds of sites out right. Fake radio stations are all the craze right now. most I have blocked. Facebook is full of crap anymore. If you want really good content go to G+ instead. If I can I have been deleting app connections to Facebook. I really hate the Blue color it is getting really annoying.

Jesse Garboden
Jesse Garboden

I have more problems with facebook combined than all of google combined!

Jorge Abraham Quintanilla Sosa
Jorge Abraham Quintanilla Sosa

Hahaha G+ = the new Hi5 haha shouldn't exist in first place... Google should focus on things they actually know how to do...

Adam Wolverton
Adam Wolverton

G+ is much less glitchy than Facebook is. But everyone still uses Facebook. Don't get it.

Paul Mohme
Paul Mohme

That game was over a while ago. But there's always room for another Bing

Pierre Foucart
Pierre Foucart

They have since discovered that they didn't need social services to create an ecosystem. The Google sign in and their pletora of services are enough on their own.

Joshua Darlington
Joshua Darlington

G+ is located at the heart of Google's branding problem - which was exploited by the screwgle ad campaign. Google data mining makes people uncomfortable. There is a reason that they are rebranding all their products "Android."

Will Smith
Will Smith

Please remove it from YouTube then.

James Poole
James Poole

Is it too late to get an invitation to Google Wave?

Neil Hocking
Neil Hocking

I can't put my finger on why Google + just doesn't do it for me

Dave Watts
Dave Watts

Let's try this once again: G+ was built (just like Gmail, etc) ultimately for business and enterprise: Not. To. Be. A. Facebook. Clone. Google has a very obvious MO of releasing to the masses for free to work out the bugs, usability, scale, etc and then delivers it to their business customers as a piece of their integrated suite of business services (ie: Google Apps for Business). G+ is tightly integrated with Email, Contacts, Calendar, Hangouts, Drive, etc and is now complete as a secure enterprise social collaboration platform that is displacing Jabber, Jive, etc, etc for brand name companies and SMBs at an alarming rate- and you get it for free as part of GApps for Biz. Jordan, any little lightbulbs going on in that head? Good thing you can't play chess with Google, because even though their pattern is almost always the same you would probably be several steps behind. Insight and understanding aren't as fun as LINKBAIT, though- are they?

Giles Goodman
Giles Goodman

Google+ is shit! I despise it with a passion and "+" I despise the pathetic way that Google is constantly, lamely begging me to use it.

Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly

The moment When you realize your circle strength matters to your published article authorship SEO... ;)

Patrick Conaty
Patrick Conaty

Was it given less prominence than glass? Glass wasn't mentioned either.

Kevin Garber
Kevin Garber

If Google would open up an unrestricted api to g+ they may very well land up doing better than Twitter & FB

Ben Lee
Ben Lee

Well i'm more active over there than I am on fb haha

Emil Harmsen
Emil Harmsen

G+ is a social business tool and it succeeds in that role in everyway.

Peter Hamza
Peter Hamza

g+ was dead on arrival but they kept pushing it because it's embarrassing to fail this big. it's a solution to a non-existing problem. even if fb died for some reason, this would be the last place people would want to migrate to.

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke

Google just has to keep gradually improving and waiting for FB to over commercialize

Harold Hoffman
Harold Hoffman

I also think with all the talk about the NSA, people are being a little more cautious on social media. I think FB is on the downward trend. Non tracking search engines will be the way of the future after people have had enough. There will be phones that are encrypted and don't track you, emails encrypted that don't track and a non tracking search engine called http://LookSeek.com that doesn't track.

Smack MacDougal
Smack MacDougal

"Facebook ...now boasts 1.28 billion monthly active users." ~ Jordan Novet, Venture Beat.


Right now, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are 7.175 billion on the earth. If Facebook had 1.28 billion monthly active users, that would be almost two of every 10 on earth were logging into Facebook to show off pictures and brag about their summer vacation paid with a HELOC.


Do you believe that 2 of every 10 living in India checked into their non-existent Facebook account today with the computer or smartphone they don't own and the Internet access that doesn't exist? 


Do you believe that 2 of every 10 living in western China checked in last week?  Do you believe that 2 of every 10 living in the many countries of Africa checked in only this morning? How about those tribal ones living in the jungles of Brazil or maybe Papua New Guinea, did 2 of 10 of them check into their Facebook account to write a timeline update the other day?


A reasonable estimate would be closer to 138.1 million log ins, with about 75% of those logging in to use Facebook credentials elsewhere. Even that might be outrageously high.


Does anyone bother to check into reality once in awhile? 


You should be reading me at Bizarro Theater instead of reading the foolery published by Venture Beat.