Sundar Pichai Talks About Plan to Separate Hangouts, Photos, and G+
Google+ came out to be a disappointment for the search giant as it failed to convince users to ditch other popular social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, in favor of itself. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products for Google, revealed plans for G+ in an interview with Forbes. He told that G+ will be broken down into three main areas — Photos, Hangouts and Google+ stream.
“You’ll see us focus on communications [Hangouts], photos, and the Google+ stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area,” Pichai said in the interview.
Pichai revealing plan to focus on Hangouts for communications doesn’t come as a surprise. The Mountain View company recently shut its years-old communications platform GTalk and made Hangouts the main platform for communications. The move even resulted in Google Chat becoming incompatible with Outlook.
Google integrated three main parts of communications — phone calls, SMS, messaging and video conferencing — into Hangouts, but the plan didn’t work. Despite having available by default on stock Android, Hangouts is still not popular as other messaging apps like WhatsApp or WeChat.
According to Tech2, there are many reasons why Hangouts is lagging behind WhatsApp and others. Firstly, it doesn’t tell who is online and to see the status of friends, users need to go to Gmail. Other messaging apps show up-to-minute status of friends and messages, for example Facebook Messenger showing “sending,” “sent,” and “delivered” status of the message. It also shows whether the friend is online and when he or she was last seen. These feedbacks provide face-to-face like communication experience and contribute towards the success of these communication apps. Hangouts is failing in this area.
Moreover, Hangouts interface isn’t mobile friendly. It appears a bit laggy while chatting.
So Google has a long list of problems to solve if it is to make Hangouts a widely adopted communications app. Following the divide-and-conquer strategy as revealed by Pichai, the company will be able to work on this platform with more focus.
However, the search giant doesn’t plan to take on WhatsApp and other popular apps that have seen immense success on Android platform. “Things like WhatsApp are a great example of success that others have had on Android, which we see as welcome innovation on the platform,” said Pichai.
Google is also refining Photos app by providing better tools for editing and sharing photos.
By focusing on three areas — Photos, Hangouts, and G+ stream — the company will be able to provide better services to its users and increase overall appeal of Google services. But do all of these efforts contribute towards the revival of Google+?