Today in the tech news rumor mill: A source close to Google tells us that the company has put a stop to all acquisitions related to Google+, at least until the end of this year. This source also tells us that Google is wary of both growing the Google+ team right now and providing the product with any additional resources until January.
The Google+ project itself is not on hold but, if this rumor is indeed correct and Google is cutting back on expanding the team’s resources, this could be an indication that Google+ isn’t doing quite as well as the company’s glowing public comments would indicate.
It’s worth noting that, according to our source, the traditional Google+ Hawaii trip, is apparently still on the schedule. Last year, the company invited 450 Google+ employees to Maui for an “offsite” meeting in September. The same team also decamped to Hawaii to celebrate the launch of Google+ in June 2011.
Google has made a number of acquisitions to bolster Google+ since June 2011. This year, these acquisitions included the $100 million acquisition of Meebo in June and the purchase of Kevin Rose’s Milk for a supposed $15 million in March. Two key members of Milk, Kevin Rose and Chris Hutchins, ending up leaving Google+ for Google Ventures almost immediately after that acquisition.
BREAKING: 450 person Google+ team may be overstaffed, internal sources report.
— Fake Alexia (@alexia_tsotsis) August 1, 2012
It’s always been hard to gauge the success of Google’s foray into social, despite the fact that Google regularly releases numbers about how many sign-ups it sees and how often Google+ users also use other Google tools. Given how hard Google is pushing Google+ through all of its product channels like Android and Google Docs, these numbers might not necessarily correlate with actual active users of its social networking platform and visitors to plus.google.com.
We reached out to Google to confirm these rumors. As expected, a Google spokesperson told us that the company “doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.”
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...