Cue the “Google+ is dead” jokes, and the following “was Google+ ever alive?” remarks.
Google has today removed the link to users’ Google+ profile from the top its many web properties, most notably its front search page and Gmail web app. Previously, names appeared with a plus in front like “+Stephen” and would link to your Google+ profile. From today, it looks like Google is making the name label no longer a link, and moving the “+Stephen” Google+ link to the app drop-down menu…
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Google+ is certainly not being killed, but Google has said recently that it is planning to split the product up into three different services: Stream, Hangouts, and Photos. We saw Google take the first step in this direction at I/O this past week, and now it looks like the Mountain View company is shifting their stance on how deeply integrated the social network should be into the Google experience as a whole.
This isn’t necessarily surprising, and if you don’t use Google+ every day, you’re probably either happy or completely neutral about this change. For those us that are actually active users of the social network, though, this means the removal of a very handy quick link to our profiles. But I guess I can’t complain, really, because that same link is now only one additional click away.