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Google Social Networks Software

Google+ Photos To Shut Down August 1 153

An anonymous reader writes: Now that Google Photos exists separately from Google+, the company is shutting down the Google+ version of Photos starting on August 1. The Android version will be the first to go, followed shortly thereafter by the iOS and web versions. Fortune calls the old Photos app "a relic of the times when the search giant thought its social network Google Plus could become a huge hit."
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Google+ Photos To Shut Down August 1

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  • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:33PM (#50154323)
    Seriously - I feel like Google+'s only fan. The layout is far better than the alternatives. It doesn't give a false sense of security. It's much more in tune with my phone. It's easier to navigate. It's not flooded with fucking idiots. There are no ads. It supports animated gifs... the list just goes on and on and on. Why the hell did it not catch on like FB?

    People argue that they "already have a social network" but that didn't stop them from leaving MySpace in favour of FB.
    • by xmousex ( 661995 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:38PM (#50154371) Journal

      thinking the current bulk of users of facebook never heard of a myspace. they are the slow adopters forced into it through the social thing when they got their first ipod to keep up with their kids. parents and grandparents and teachers, they are not technology people, they just followed along and now they are stuck.

      the people who are real movers have already left facebook in concept and are on to other social systems entirely.

      google+ is the far better alternative to facebook in every way for the few of us who actually know, care, understand. Those few do not make much for a success story.

      • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @03:22PM (#50154679) Journal

        Or, as I put it, the people who aren't on Google+ are the reason I am on Google+

        There is a reason why they are called "Unwashed masses"

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          Or, as I put it, the people who aren't on Google+ are the reason I am on Google+

          Yep... and with that in mind; I'm going to go back and login to my Orkut account and partake in the conversation.

          Wait...

          What the?

          Oh Shit..... when the hell did Google hijack their web page and turn off the social community features?

      • Google+ is better in the same way that Betamax was better. The lack of adoption killed its adoption. It's one of those things that requires critical mass to be useful.

        • It can be useful without critical mass. Critical mass in social networking is only useful if you're the sort that has to be friends with everyone.

          The major failing of Facebook that Google+ solved is a way to divide the world up into groups, and to not require reciprocation if you want to follow someone. Ie, I can keep my drinking buddies segregated from my church buddies and from my work buddies. I have plenty of weirdos following me on G+ but I never have to follow them back or friend them and find out

          • The critical mass in this case is people in your own life. Not only my friends but also familiy are on Facebook. Features or not, it's just more convenient.

            Facebook has added Followers for non-Page accounts as well. Used to only apply for business/entity or celebrity pages not tied to a specific individual account, but that has changed. But the ability to be followed is something that you can turn on or off entirely.

    • You think animated GIFs are a good feature? Do you like text scrollers, too?

      • Sometimes? [youtu.be]
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I actually like the animated GIF format. Most of the crap on YouTube could be condensed down to 5 seconds or less and lose nothing, which is why people make them into animated GIFs. It's like digest version, ideal for Caturday.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:43PM (#50154401) Homepage

      Honestly, because we didn't want it, never asked for it, got tired of having it constantly being foisted on us. It was a solution in search of a problem which nobody wanted solved in the first place.

      It mostly took the form of Google's services constantly trying to force people to sign up for it, and pissing everybody off in the process. It wasn't anything anybody gave a damn about, but Google was constantly trying to make it mandatory.

      Every time I encountered it, I found myself wanting to beat someone at Google with a clue stick.

      Because the world isn't about social networks, and we don't give a fuck about the fact that Google wanted to play "me too".

      I want to see a map or chat with one of my contacts. I don't want to sign up for your vision of my entire fucking digital lifestyle.

      Google+ was the digital equivalent of a Jehova's Witness constantly showing up at your door. It did noting but annoy people.

      The reason it failed is nobody wanted it, and people didn't want to be forced into using the damned thing just to make Google believe they'd launched a successful service.

      • I could do with an alternative to facebook but I found the G+ interface unintuitive, unmanageable and ultimately not worth the time to learn. 99% of what people want to do on facebook can be immediately accessed and that's a big advantage.

        • by NoZart ( 961808 )

          funny, for me it is the other way around - i left FB about 8 years ago and went g+ because my environment was migrating there. Now i had to go back to facebook to make stink at the FB page of my ISP (because thats the only way to get support these days) and was completely lost in how to navigate this completely different layout of Facebook - i guess "intuitive" is related to what i am used to, kinda.

        • As someone who joined G+ and facebook at basically the same time, I found Google's interface much more intuitive. I still use facebook for party invites (because everyone is on it), but I don't like it, and I still find it counterintuitive.
        • Same here. I hated FB, so jumped onto G+ hoping it would FB but better. Unfortunately it sucked arse, because you could never control who you were communicating with. Apparently you could manage this but I never figured out how, the interface was just a huge mess. I stuck with FB until finally giving that the flick too. Surely if someone just made a FB clone without the ads and privacy issues it would be an instant hit?
          • That very same thought has been crossing my mind more and more lately... I could live with the ads but they're getting very pushy on privacy and that's where I draw the line.

      • Look at it the other way. Google+ was trying to force its users to do stuff no one cares about - like Youtube or Gmail. Stop treating Google+ like it was the evil guy, int was *Google* that was evil trying to tie everything together, the underlying applications were not at fault.

        Google+ was not a "me too" application. It was aimed at people who will never visit Facebook, and intended to have a better design (which it mostly has I think). Before Google+ there were no social networking sites worth visitin

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )
        Don't speak for everyone - it's a great sign you haven't really considered your argument. It was a logical extension of the Google accounts people used. It was expected by many, welcomed by many, and used by many. Your experiences do not speak for everyone else's.
    • Fortune says your Google+ is so second quarter 2015.
    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      Superior technology and design means nothing. Content means everything.

      In the earlier days, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr (probably countless others, too) all had one huge key feature that G+ missed out on: cross-network publishing. Basically as a content producer, this is considered free content/marketing potential. It takes time to author a post on social media sites. Facebook Twitter have long had a cross-posting system, where you post to one, and the post propagates to the other automaticall

    • by RJFerret ( 1279530 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:49PM (#50154449) Homepage

      We use it extensively, it's replaced email, texting, all sorts of other services as you can just contact on G+ and the right people get the message in the manner they prefer without any spam.

      Admittedly most of my social spheres aren't active users of other networks, just keeping them for grandma or that one outlier.

    • Why the hell did it not catch on like FB?

      Because nearly everybody was already on Facebook and Facebook gave them no reason to move that they cared about. Look up network effect [wikipedia.org] if you need a more detailed explanation. Plus Google was more than a little pushy about G+ early on which didn't enhance the appeal. Nobody likes to feel forced into something.

      People argue that they "already have a social network" but that didn't stop them from leaving MySpace in favour of FB.

      People will leave if they have sufficient reason. Myspace was sort of focused on music and entertainment which is fine but not diverse and perhaps a bit too narrow. It's ties to News Corp probabl

      • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

        Yep, this.

        How long has linkedin been around? For me, it seems like it finally reached "critical mass" only a year or two ago. After lurking for nearly a decade, I suddenly realized that a bunch of people I knew and worked with were suddenly on it.

        Google Plus works well, and I do use it a lot with my close family. I upload most of my photo collections there, and then share the link via Facebook/Twitter/email or whatever. Everyone and their dog is not on there, and that's fine with me.

        Everyone complains

      • facebook also benefited from the smartphone revolution. myspace was built around laying out a clunky website. Facebook's status update centric design was a natural fit for the tiny screen. it was the right thing at the right time to form this symbiotic relationship. facebook was a must have for your phone, and you wanted a phone that could post your status to facebook.
      • Because nearly everybody was already on Facebook and Facebook gave them no reason to move that they cared about. .

        Facebook hate was around by the time G+ was released. Had they simply released an Ad-free, private clone of FB it would taken the world by storm. Instead they thought they knew better and now have yet another failed product to add to a very long list.

        • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

          Facebook hate was around by the time G+ was released. Had they simply released an Ad-free, private clone of FB it would taken the world by storm. Instead they thought they knew better and now have yet another failed product to add to a very long list.

          No. People love to hate Facebook but they don't really want to leave. So unless a competitor offers a really superior product or Facebook messes things up badly, people will stay.
          As for privacy, the truth is : very few people give a shit. So if it is your main selling point, you will only attract a small minority. Ads ? People who really don't want ads use AdBlock so again, you can't really use "no ads" as a selling point. And these are clearly not arguments that can effectively be used by Google.

          • No. People love to hate Facebook but they don't really want to leave. So unless a competitor offers a really superior product or Facebook messes things up badly, people will stay..

            I disagree. I know a lot of people who don't like the privacy/advertising aspect of FB but have no choice (certainly not the abomination that is G+). If a startup with sufficient marketing budget could push this point, I don't think it would take much for a mass shift.
            Look at IM. The shifts between various IM providers hasn't occurred because newer products came out with superior features. Generally the incumbent slowly killed the user experience with bloat and crap, so people jumped ship to another IM wit

        • Facebook hate was around by the time G+ was released. Had they simply released an Ad-free, private clone of FB it would taken the world by storm.

          Google can't do that. Google makes well over 90% of its revenue from ads and almost everything they do supports that engine. Android was simply a defensive play to keep them from getting locked out of the mobile ad markets by Apple, Microsoft and others. Maps is a play for location sensitive advertising. Gmail is a way of mining personal communications for data. Aside from a few research projects (like cars and robots) pretty much everything Google does is to help them throw more ads your way.

          Now Faceb

    • Facebook supports .gif now too. (hosted only, not personal uploads.). Google +'s number one problem is that it required a gmail address. Microsoft, Apple and Facebook will all accept other companies email addresses as logins, but not G+. Very few normals want yet another email address.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Google +'s number one problem is that it required a gmail address.

        Since when? Somehow I ended up with two Google accounts, one with Gmail and one with a different email address. And it was the non-Gmail one, which I had been using with YouTube, that got a Google+ profile attached to it.

    • Couldn't agree less about the layout. It's a disorganized mish-mash on the desktop, and filled with utterly unnecessary fluff like comment boxes that float around the screen when you click on them, forcing you to move your mouse unnecessarily to get back to them and lengthening the time until you can start typing. Support for inlined animated GIFs is hardly something I'd consider a plus, just a way for people to annoy me. And I've never had a single spambot try to add me on Facebook, whereas on Google+ the
      • by Anonymous Coward

        ORKUT. That was the platform to build upon. 500 million users,er...I mean Brazilians and Indians for most. Hubris [and racism for the part of the US users] prevented Google from making that move.

    • I use Google+... but not for my "main" social network. Google+ is used to keep track of my scientific colleagues. We share science news articles and discuss new papers that have come out, etc. It works really well for that.

      Here's how I use the various social networks:

      Facebook: Family and friends, normal happenings (all "private")
      Google+: Scientific / mathematical / coding discussions with scientific colleagues
      Twitter: Announcements related to my software project. Anything I wish to shout out "publicly"

      • Much the same here. The attraction of G+ was that it was a lot easier to use for non-public streams. Where Facebook tried to make everything public for the world to see, G+ made it easy to keep things limited to specific groups so that a) conversations wouldn't be visible to people I didn't want to see them (and to people that aren't interested, my family really doesn't want to have a ringside seat for my rather heated discussions about the technical aspects of IPv6) and b) we wouldn't be inundated by troll

    • Did you forget day one of Google+? everyone who had an gmail account was forced to be a google + member. That and every thing you had was open to everyone all your email contacts, Everything you thought was private was now not private with no choices to stop it. Really your asking why?
      • Did you forget day one of Google+? everyone who had an gmail account was forced to be a google + member. That and every thing you had was open to everyone all your email contacts, Everything you thought was private was now not private with no choices to stop it. Really your asking why?

        No quite. Google+ was around as "invite only" before they did that.

    • MySpace feels more like a place for artists, like a DeviantArt without a more up-to-date look. In my perception, the social network many people may have fled from was Orkut, after it become crowded with Brazilians.
    • by Threni ( 635302 )

      > Why the hell did it not catch on like FB?

      Because when people are posting pics/messages to their friends on facebook they clearly don't care about privacy. The idiot problem...well, it's not a problem because you only see your friends, so it doesn't matter how many idiots are outside your network. It's Google+ that's full of idiots; whenever i follow a link (exclusively android developers because no-one else provides links to google+ pages) it's full of drivel from idiots, often religious, always wit

    • Why the hell did it not catch on like FB?

      Well, other than the idiotic "invite only" policy?

      Well... it launched feature incomplete as compared to Facebook. Pages for example wouldn't be available for months after launch. Also, it took weeks to properly display Flickr links (in 2011, when Flickr still ruled the photosharing roost this was unnaceptable)... And when they did get it right, it was only kinda right. The thumbnails were very obviously downsampled and downsized - all the better to very visibl

      • Well, other than the idiotic "invite only" policy?

        Google's field trial lasted three months, after which it opened to the public. When Facebook started, only college students were eligible, and this lasted ten times as long as Google's field trial.

        • The comparative lengths of the two field trials is quite possibly the stupidest and most irrelevant thing you can bring up - because they occurred against completely different backgrounds.

    • I dunno... Google knows too much about me. FB knows to much about me. (Whether you use it or not, both services extract info on you from your friends who do use it). The idea that Google would also have all of FB's knowledge is scary.

    • There are only two social networking sites I have used: Google+ and LinkedIn.

      It didn't catch on like FB because most people in the world want something stupid (and I'm baffled why MySpace didn't win that demographic).

    • You're not the only fan. I love the clean interface, the fact that videos don't automatically play, the ability to filter people into groups and ignore groups of your "friends".

      The iPhone app works nicely and is easy to use as well.

    • Because I don't want my email and my social media coming from the same place.

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      I enjoy G+. My wife hates FB and loves G+, but almost no one uses G+ so she has to use FB.
    • by aralin ( 107264 )

      And since you are the only one and since I don't have you in friends, I don't have any friends on Google+, so why would I be there?

    • I love the website, and think it's far better than Facebook (both in terms of the behavior of the company and the product itself). But all of my friends spend the majority of their social network time on Facebook. So Facebook it is....
    • No, you're not the only one.

      You mentioned all the positives that I would list too -- the primary one being "It's NOT FazeBook"

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:33PM (#50154327) Journal

    Now that we've split off Photos from Google+, let's split off the GPS support into a separate product, ok? Or maybe bundle it into Maps where it belongs? We could call it LATITUDE.

  • Google really stepped in shit with that stupid Google+.

    Between the real name policy, which nobody wants, and everything trying to force you into it at very step ... I've basically spent the last few years fighting off Google+.

    Nobody wanted another damned social network, and they sure as hell didn't want to be forced into using the damned thing by every one of Google's services.

    I'm glad to see that it's finally being disentangled from everything else. Because it was a bloody nuisance.

  • by KDiPietro ( 3765499 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:39PM (#50154379)
    I was excited when Google+ rolled out. That enthusiasm quickly dissipated when Google decided that no anonymous accounts would be tolerated. Their inability to understand how important it is for many people to be able to participate anonymously convinced me that this was not a platform that was going anywhere. Apparently, I wasn't the only person to feel this way.

    Awesome job Google! You could have very likely created a real competitor to Facebook but instead orchestrated the internet version of New Coke.
    • Being "anonymous" on a "social network". I know plenty of people who have "fake" accounts, and everyone knows who they are, they aren't fooling anyone.

    • by Eythian ( 552130 )

      It might be too little too late, but this policy was reverted.

  • by jbridges ( 70118 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:47PM (#50154435)

    Now that Google+ Photos is discontinued, Google Apps admins received a message which informs them that Google Hangouts will only use Picasa Web Albums for photo sharing.

    http://googlesystem.blogspot.c... [blogspot.com]

    • It's worth noting that Picasaweb pre-dates Google+. In fact when they made the photos section of G+, they just copied Picasaweb's front-end, and dumbed it down to a Facebook level. The back-end was still the same so you could post albums on Google+, and still edit/modify them on Picasaweb (with a lot more options than the G+ interface). So in that respect, absolutely nothing has changed.
  • Prediction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ProzacPatient ( 915544 ) on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @02:51PM (#50154465)

    I predict, based on past behavior, that Google Photos will be retired a year from now, maybe two.

    I find that many people have gotten hesitant to trust using products and services from Google or Microsoft because both of them tend to start projects, promote it to death, and then decide to suddenly drop it one day.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I predict, based on past behavior, that Google Photos will be retired a year from now, maybe two.

      I find that many people have gotten hesitant to trust using products and services from Google or Microsoft because both of them tend to start projects, promote it to death, and then decide to suddenly drop it one day.

      That's the problem, Google keeps retiring stuff. I have a third-party iGoogle alternative as my home page. I've stopped using Google Search, because I'm afraid they're going to retire it next year.

    • Re:Prediction (Score:4, Informative)

      by JackieBrown ( 987087 ) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 21, 2015 @04:59PM (#50155351)

      I have started using my own server for this (for privacy and space reasons). Unfortunately, a lot of my exif tags (dates in particular) seem to have messed up when I downloaded them from Google photos. I did it using the download archive function - ended up with an 8 GB zip. I assume it was during the download because Google have them correct on their site.

      Trying to go through and correct those has been really frustrating - particular since that is where all the pictures of my deceased wife are, and I really have trouble holding up well checking each photo. I wouldn't even bother but it is very jarring to run into pictures of her when browsing from May of this year.

    • by Xarius ( 691264 )

      If by "suddenly drop" you mean "give six months to a year notice and a way to export all of your information to migrate to another service" - then yes, they often do that when retiring products they don't want to continue.

  • What's Google Photos?
  • With the recent update, Google broke Chromecast support for Google+ photos. The biggest thing I liked about Google+ photos was that I could share the pictures and videos on my Chromecast. Of course, they did not add Chromecast support for the updated photos app.

    While not everyone agreed with the "integration" of accounts, I am absolutely amazed at the number of services on which Google has dismantled the good parts. Google has created some pretty neat things over the years and they still are innovating. B

  • My use of G+ now caters for what slashdot provides. I hardly know anyone in person, but being subscribed to a few groups I get better tailored 'news for nerds' and a wider range of news too.

    Also, G+ isn't shutting down, just being separated with photos.

  • Thats it, Im moving back to http://pictureweb.com/ [pictureweb.com] !

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