It might be time to start playing a mournful bugle melody for Google+. Google’s social network, which for a while became the Clippy of social networks because of its annoying efforts to insert itself into every other Google service, will not be featured at any panels at Google’s I/O developers conference next month, Droid Life notices. In contrast, Google held several panels on Google+ at its 2012 and 2013 I/O conferences, which really does make it seem as though Google is starting to ease off promoting its polarizing social network.
News that this year’s Google I/O won’t feature anything on Google+ follows reports we read last month where unnamed sources said that Google would no longer require that Google+ be integrated into every one of its products and that the company would chop up pieces of Google+ and use it much more as a general platform than as a social network that’s trying to compete with Facebook. This means that a good chunk of the Google+ team would be going to other divisions: The team working on Hangouts, for instance, would be shifted to the Android team, while other divisions would be shifted to Chrome.
It’s doubtful that Google will completely kill off Google+ right away but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the company let it die on the vine until only the most dedicated Google+ users are still on the platform.
UPDATE: Google has sent a followup email to Droid Life saying that this batch of announced panels only represents the first group and that we should “sit tight” for news on Google+ panels. However, Google did not say specifically that there would actually be any panels on Google+ at I/O this year and Droid Life nonetheless called the situation “odd.”