Google+ has been a huge investment for Google over the past few years. This year saw some of the biggest investment so far with Google buying up talent like Meebo and Milk to help support Google+. The company also showed off many new features for Google+ at I/O to get the hype going. If rumors circulating today are true, all that investment may have been for naught.
Recent rumors coming out of the tech world suggest that Google+ may not be getting any major investment from Google for the rest of the year. Sources speaking to TechCruch have revealed that Google has put a freeze on any more acquisitions related to Google+. Even more interesting, Google may not be putting any money into growing the Google+ team for the rest of the year.
This about face seems odd as Google bragged about massive Google+ growth during I/O. Most of that growth was related to mobile, but it was still a sign of good things to come for the platform. Those claims were confirmed last week with a report from Compete showing that Google+, at least the desktop version, has reached 31 million unique monthly visitors.
Of course, that's only unique monthlies. What really matters is if the social network can retain those users and turn them into active users. I sign into my Google+ account everyday to check a few things, but I'm in no way actively engaged in the community. Google needs those active users to prove that Google+ is something worth investing in. The lack thereof may be what's behind their rumored decision to keep funding to a minimum for the rest of the year.
At least there is a silver lining to all this depressing news. Google will still take the 450 Google+ employees on their annual trip to Hawaii.It's best to keep up the employees' spirits instead of letting them know the awful truth.