MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) – Google is throwing in the towel when it comes to competing with Facebook as a social media player.
Company vice president Brad Horotwitz, who’s been running Google+, said in a blogpost that users will no longer need a Google+ account to chat with others on Google products like YouTube. Any Gmail account will now suffice.
Google+ was launched four years ago with the hopes of competing with Facebook, but whereas Facebook has 1.4-billion active users worldwide, Google’s best estimated number was 300-million, and the Wall Street Journal says there have long been questions about the activity level of Google’s users.
Horowitz says Google+ will now focuses on connecting users around specific interests, with his team now called Streams, Photos and Sharing.
Facebook is getting some encouraging news ahead of its earnings report on Wednesday.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has posted its latest ratings survey, and found that Facebook’s ranking jumped from 67 to 75 on a scale that tops out at 100.
That’s a sizable increase, which MarketWatch says is a likely signs that the company will also perform better than expected on a financial level.
Facebook and its Instagram site each rank above the average score for social media, with LinkedIn, Tumbler and Twitter and scoring lower.
Analysts are expecting Facebook’s quarterly revenue to crest above $4-billion for the first time.