Google is giving the option, for new users signing up to Gmail, of completely bypassing its Google+ social network. This is another clear sign that the search giant is no longer confident in the project, and could put an end to it at any time.
Google launched its own social network to rival Facebook, but unlike Orkut which had few successes here and there, Google+ was arguably a failure from the beginning. This was realized by Google as Internet users refused to sign-up in large numbers, pushing the company to force users to sign-up. However, not even this plan worked.
What we have here is a social network with over 400 million registered users, but only a fraction of that number are actually taking part. It's not that some users prefer Facebook; it is mainly because most of their friends are unwilling to leave their comfort zone for something that might require an all new learning curve.
While the new Gmail sign-up form doesn't force new users to create a Google+ profile, the option is still there for anyone to enter Google's social network project should they wish. However, with the amount of hate for the search giant's shot at a Facebook competitor, we doubt many folks would be interested in signing up.
Is this the end of Google+?
Difficult to tell, but we can't ignore the fact that the former president of Google+, Vic Gundotra, stepped down in April and resigned from the company. After that, Google has been showing signs of slowing down its push to get users to create Google+ profiles.
However, these moves by the Silicon Valley powerhouse should be considered vague unless YouTube no longer require account holders to write comments using a Google+ profile. We believe such a move would be the greatest sign that Google+ is a dead duck that no longer deserves support.
Then again, just recently, Google acquired Polar to give its social network some boosts, but the real reason behind this acquisition could be something else entirely. Polar specializes in creating online polls, something that can be used and be successful anywhere apart from a social network.