Google may be considering chopping up its social network Google+ into separate pieces rather than keeping it together as one holistic social platform, according to a new report from Forbes.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome, and apps, suggested to the publication that Google+ could be broken up into different components. Here’s what he said to Forbes:
I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications, photos and the Google+ Stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.
Pichai also said that a big part of Google+’s functionality involves the fact that it keeps you logged into Google’s core products within your browser. For example, if you’re logged into your Google+ account in Chrome, you’ll automatically be logged into Gmail, Google Drive, and the company’s other services.
He told Forbes that aspect of the service “was in many ways even more important” than the more traditional elements of the social network, like the main activity feed.
“That part has worked really well for us,” he said to Forbes.
He also said Photos and Hangouts could be broken out and separated from the main product. But, he also said none of Google’s main products will disappear.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Google may make some changes to Google+. Last April, anonymous sources told Tech Crunch that Google was “shifting” the teams that work on Google+, saying that those working on Hangouts and Photos might move to the Android team. In August, Bloomberg also reported that Google may separate the photos section from Google+.
As a social network, Google+ hasn’t seen the same explosive growth as other platforms such as Facebook. According to Facebook’s website, the social network has 890 million active daily users as of December 2014. About one year ago, Google claimed to have 540 million monthly active users, according to The New York Times, but the publication also reported that nearly half of those users don’t visit the social network.