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There Is No Product That Google Plus Will Not Eat

6 December 2012 No Comment

With Communities, Google's rebuilding the whole experience of forums, right on top of Google Plus. Which it now says “is the fastest-growing network thingy ever. “

Source: youtube.com

With Google+ Communities, Google is essentially just building forums into/on top of Google+. It could work beautifully, replacing the act of going to Chowhound and a bunch of other separate, super-specialized kinds of forums with one product that simply spans a bunch of niches — except that I wonder what it’ll mean for Google Groups, Google's current forum/discussion board product.

A Google spokesperson only offered that Groups is “going strong,” but historically Google+ moving into the neighborhood, product wise, has resulted in colonization of existing products: Google Talk video chat got merged into Plus's Hangouts; the existing Google Local was replaced by Google+ Local; and Google Reader was effectively gutted. Plus's gravitational pull on Google products is strong because its ethos is “about building one seamless experience,” says Google Senior VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra. In other words, it lives to consume every part of Google that isn't already a part of it. So it's hard to see how Groups will escape the gaping maw of Plus forever, one way or another. But damned if Google+ Communities isn't a pretty experience.

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