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Google+ is often the red-headed stepchild of the social media world; it often doesn’t receive the same accolades or news coverage as Facebook or Twitter. Marketing and advertising professionals see the value of placing and sharing content on the platform, due to its direct ties with Google Search, but the platform itself hasn’t become a fixture in most people’s daily lives. Now, Google+’s longtime leader, Vic Guntora, has announced he is leaving the company.
Guntora was the driving force behind the Google+ platform, and one of its biggest advocates. Although Google has already announced his replacement on the Google+ team, David Bresbis, the departure of Guntora is a blow to the platform. Added to the recent announcement that Google will be uncoupling Google+ integration from the rest of its products (which definitely helped boost the total number of Google+ users), and it’s difficult to determine what might be in store for the future of the platform.
Some say that unhooking Google+ from the rest of the Google suite of products is a good idea; the YouTube/Google+ integration was poorly received both within the company and throughout its consumer base. However, if a person no longer needs a Google+ account in order to interact with other Google products, will users abandon the site?
Rumors have also surfaced that Google+ plans to radically change its functionality and focus so as to stop competing directly with the likes of Facebook, but Google executives have vehemently denied these claims.