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Google+ RIP? Social network to split into ‘Photos’ and ‘Streams’

Google is splitting Google+ apart, breaking the social network's photo element away from what it's now calling "Streams."

The move leaves the fate of the fate of the often mocked Google+ service hanging in the balance.

The name changes could possibly suggest that Google is planning to kill or significantly alter the brand, but the company has yet to make an announcement to confirm or deny this.

The two new features will be run by Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google VP of products.

Google is aiming to take the more popular parts of 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.

During an interview session at Mobile World Congress this week, Google's Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products, confirmed that Hangouts will live on as part of a renewed emphasis on communications.

"For us, Google+ was always two things, a stream and a social layer," said Pichai. "The stream has a passionate community of users, but the second goal was larger for us. We're at a point where things like photos and communications are very important, we're reorganizing around that."


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