It's the beginning of the end for Google+

After three years of hard pushing, Google has accepted the failure of Google+ and is starting to dismantle the overbearing social network.

Google’s service no longer directly links to user’s Google+ profile, instead the forename and surname takes over as a placeholder, although it is unclickable. Google has not said what it plans to add in Google+’s place.

Even though Google claims Plus is still alive, the lack of announcements at Google I/O earlier this week speak volumes as to how much Google cares about its social network, which turned out to be a horrible experiment.

Not only did it fail to win over the millions of fans Google wanted it to, it became the laughing stock of social; a barren wasteland making even MySpace and Bebo look active.

Part of the issue with Google+ was the company’s own overbearing attitude, forcing users to submit. It started forcing the Google+ profile instead of the YouTube account, followed by influencing bloggers and news networks to integrate Google+ or face lower rankings on the most prominent search engine.

The stats of Google+ suggest great success, with over 500 million users, but only a small amount are active and it lacks the appeal of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other networks that have genuine people actively socialising.

Google+ will remain on the services page, but its prominence is wearing following the launch of new services to occupy the nine blocks. How long until Google+ goes the way of Orkut, Reader and other services that didn’t make the cut?