Google+ SHAKEUP: Besbris subtracted, Horowitz added, confusion multiplied

Multiple personalities of la GOOG: Flip a coin -- Photos or Streams?

Is Google splitting up Google Plus? It appears so. There's also a new Google+ czar in town to right wrongs with its ailing social network. If Google will let him, that is.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers feel torn apart.

Today's humble blogwatcher is Stephen Glasskeys.

Ron Amadeo finds an executive suite shaken, not stirred:

More troubled times for Google+. Just under a year ago, the social network had a major shakeup where Vic Gundotra, the then-head of Google+, left Google. Dave Besbris took over and has been running [Google+] for about 11 months, but now he's out, too.  MORE

Rich McCormick reads between Google's lines:

Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google VP of product, announced that he had become the new lead for both new products, Google Photos and Streams.

Horowitz says that he's now running Google's Photos and Streams names for existing elements of Google+ that conspicuously don't reference the social network. The name changes could possibly suggest that Google is planning to kill or significantly alter the brand, but [Google] has yet to make an announcement to confirm or deny this.  MORE

Straight from the horse's mouth:

Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true -- I'm excited to be running Google's Photos and Streams products! It's important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.  MORE

Stephen Shankland finds tumbleweed, but little else:

Google+ has taken a lot of criticism -- notably the infamous "ghost town" knock that it's devoid of users and...Google's attempts to force its relevance by tying it in with functions like search results and YouTube comments.

It's not yet clear what will happen to Hangouts. In a December talk, Horowitz said Hangouts is designed as an all-purpose communication tool, marrying video, audio, and text messaging. That means it's carrying a lot of importance for Google.  MORE

Zack Whittaker regrets a spelling boo-boo:

When you have a great tweet but it has a spelling mistake and you get picked up by someone else, and it's forever there. That's Google+.  MORE

Meanwhile, Danny Sullivan discovers Google's new "popularity rank" algorithm:

Wondering how Social ranks among Google's products like search, ads or YouTube? It doesn't. See [Google's] mgmt page.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites…so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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