Five years ago, the “Urs-quake” struck: A memo from Google SVP Urs Hölzle went out detailing how Google risked being left beyond on social, prompting the creation of Google Plus. Years, many millions of dollars and several tribulations later, one of the most beleaguered, storied products in Google’s history looked dead.
In fact, Google shed the pieces of Google+ for years now — pulling out Hangouts and then Photos, decoupling the log-in from other products — leaving us all to assume it was heading toward obsolescence.
Not so! On Tuesday, in a short little post, Google trumpeted the return of a “fully redesigned” Google+. It centers on two things: Communities, a three-year old feature for interest-based groups, and Collections, an interest-based sharing feature akin to Pinterest. And it runs on Material Design, the language developed by Android — another indication that Android holds the design mantle within Google.
This first comment on Google’s Google+ page today captures much of the internet’s response.
Jokes aside, there must be some rationale for why Google decided to retain its ghost town. And so: