Google killed its Google+ social network recently, around the same time its excellent Inbox client also shut down, but it appears the former has come back from the dead, received a facelift, and will continue to live on — just not for mainstream customers.
Google Currents is a new app that "enables people to have meaningful discussions and interactions across your organization," and by that, Google means Currents is solely for enterprise users. It's got a new look and feel compared with Google+ and also streamlined to make it faster to post content and add tags. Top executives' posts can be given priority in the Currents stream to ensure employees notice it.
"Currents makes it easy to have meaningful discussions by enabling leaders and employees to exchange ideas across the organization and gather valuable feedback and input from others — without flooding inboxes," Google wrote in its G Suite Updates blog.
Currents is still in beta, but Google says companies that use G Suite can request access to the program immediately. Google+ posts will automatically be moved to Currents too — that is, only G Suite posts. Personal Google+ posts and content are totally and officially gone.
Admins can create custom streams to promote specific content to a particular group of people or the entire company. They can also measure user engagement across the platform using metrics to determine which posts resonate most among the employees or the whole organization.
Recycling The Name
As for the Currents name itself, this isn't actually the first Google product with that moniker. Currents used to be a magazine app before there was Google Play Newsstand, as The Verge points out. Now, it's simply called Google News. It's not certain if this brand-new iteration of Currents would stick. Google is known to axe projects occasionally, often without reason. The aforementioned Inbox is one among many victims, and also Allo, Now On Tap, and many other features and services.
The common denominator among these killed apps is that there was a better option. In the case of Inbox, all its revolutionary features eventually moved to Gmail, which put Inbox in an awkward position. Currents isn't the only enterprise communication tool Google offers. It's also got Hangouts Chat, which is basically Google's own take on Slack. With Google apps being killed here and there, it's not difficult to imagine one of these will be punted into the sunset eventually. Granted, Currents isn't really a workflow-type app, but Google could easily update it to become one. Time, as always, will tell.