Rumors are flying that Google will soon shut down, or at least dismantle its Google+ service. The rumors suggest that Google would remove Google+ as a product, but continue it flowing in the background as a service instead.
TechCrunch has said: "What we're hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform - essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter". According to one of TechCrunch's anonymous sources, Google+ would no longer compete directly against Facebook and Twitter, and would end the forced integrations of Google+ into Google services like Gmail and YouTube.
Another source, as well as the Financial Times' anonymous source has said: "One person familiar with Google said the company planned to refocus its social media efforts soon. Its Hangouts messaging and video-chat app will be given greater prominence, alongside photos, while the Google+ branding may take a back seat, this person said".
Of course, Google is in damage control mode, stating that there are no such plans to shut down its social network. A statement that a Google spokesperson gave to Marketing Land: "Today's announcement has no impact on our Google+ strategy - we have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos".