It was announced over the weekend that Google’s social platform may be split into three separate products.
In an attempt to try and make the most of each distinct area of expertise, Google+ will be divided into Streams and Photos, while Hangouts is also likely to become its own service.
Google executive Bradley Horowitz revealed the news in a blog post on Sunday, with the vice president of products likely to be put in charge of Photos and Streams. It is believed that the latter news feed-style platform will be designed to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
Meanwhile, Photos would be taking aim at Flickr and Instagram, with a raft of new editing features being made available to entice users to the platform. Becoming a standalone product, rather than being hidden under the wider Google+ umbrella, could help to elevate Photos’ profile.
Lastly, Google Hangouts could be developed into a fuller communication tool, with audio, video and text-based messaging. In a move that would see the new product directly rivalling Skype, it is believed that this could place Hangouts as one of the search engine company’s key social arms.
Google has reportedly struggled to gain users for its Google+ platform since its launch in 2011, but the service has performed better than a number of the firm’s other social media attempts, including Buzz and Friend Connect.
While the Google+ brand has been seen as a way to keep the company’s social wings under one roof, it is hoped that splitting them up will allow each to compete on its own merits.