Google may separate Hangouts, Google+ and Photos

Google is looking to further untangle parts of Google+: The company may separate Photos and Hangouts from Google+, according to statements made by Google’s product czar Sundar Pichai in an interview with Forbes Thursday.

“Increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications [Hangouts], photos and the Google+ stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area,” said Pichai. That’s notably different from [company]Google[/company]’s previous approach: Former Google+ head Vic Gundotra tried to use photos as a way to grow Google+ as a whole, and Hangouts also used to be closely integrated with Google+.

Google+ has always been a bit of a mixed bag for Google. The social network has provided the company with an identity layer across its products, which has arguably helped to improve YouTube and other platforms.

However, the Google+ stream hasn’t exactly been a huge success, something Pichai had to admit in the interview. “We would definitely like to see more scale at what we do,” he said, but added that Google+ has attracted “a passionate community of users,” and that the Google+ team is working on “a few next generation ideas” to bring more users into the fold.

Android antitrust investigators ask Yandex to detail Google woes

The Russian web firm has confirmed that it was asked to provide evidence in a potential EU antitrust case against Google, over its bundling of core services with Android. Investigators are also looking into claims of Google forcing manufacturers to delay or cancel devices using non-Google services.