Google+ could be about to hit the vast Google scrapheap after the departure of one of the key drivers of the social networking site was confirmed earlier today.
Related: A guide to being an idiot on Google+
Vic Gundotra, the architect and executive sponsor of the service, announced his departure after eight years with the company and it has sparked the rumour mill into action surrounding the immediate future of the network.
“I'm [also] forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team. But it doesn't tell you what kind of people they are. They are invincible dreamers. I love them. And I will miss them dearly,” Gundotra said via his Google+ page.
Google has already confirmed that Dave Besbris, VP of engineering for Google+, will take up the reigns and the main question asked by many surrounds the direction that Google’s social network will now take – something that Google has said will remain the same.
"Today's news 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,” Google said in a statement provided to Tech Crunch.
This statement came after multiple sources told the same site that the service would end its competition with the likes of Facebook and Twitter by moving from being a product to a platform and focusing on Hangouts.
Adding further fuel to this fire is the fact that between 1,000 and 1,200 Google+ staff members are being reshuffled with the Google Hangouts team moving over to Android and the Photos team also likely to follow.
Also rumoured to be gone are the “required” Google+ integrations for Google products that is reportedly influenced by YouTube’s integration with Google+ that was attacked by the public as well as figures within the company.
Related: A guide to setting up a Google+ page
Gundotra, meanwhile, is already “excited about what’s next” with rumours that he has already interviewed elsewhere and it certainly won’t be the last we hear of the former Google+ daddy.
Image Credit: Vic Gundotra Google+ page