So long, Google+. Hello, Streams, Photos and Hangouts

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Credit: Gigaom illustration

For the third time in a year, Google has a new leader for its social network, Google+. And in keeping with the trend of trios, Google+ is getting split into three different products: Streams, Photos and Hangouts. Google VP Bradley Horowitz is taking the reins of the former two products, which until now have been part of Google+.

Horowitz announced the change on his — where else — Google+ page, Sunday night:

Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true — I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!  It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.

Breaking out some Google+ features was hinted at last week by Google SVP Sundar Pichai in an interview with ForbesHorowitz follows Google’s Dave Besbris as the leader of what’s now Streams and Photos; Bresbis took over for Vic Gundotra after his departure from Google last April.

While I personally find the Google+ network engaging, it has come under criticism by many for being a “ghost town,” so Horowitz has his work cut out for him with the Streams product. Photos is actually a bright spot, in my view: Google has integrated it well into both [company]Apple[/company] iOS and [company]Google[/company] Android software, complete with an automatic photo backup service.

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immauk

Hopefully streams use some standards this time, so we can export to feed-readers & pipes and import from feeds like twitter, flickr, etc :-)

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