Google looks set to split Photos from Google+

Google headquarters
The end of the marriage between Google+ and Photos?

Photos has long been one of the best parts of Google+, letting you back up pictures from your devices, add a host of different filters and edits, and then share your creations with others. Now it looks like the app will stand on its own two feet outside of Google+.

Rumours have been swirling that Photos was just too good to stay under the Google+ umbrella, and these rumours have been officially addressed by Bradley Horowitz, one of the company's numerous product Vice Presidents.

"Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true," wrote Horowitz in a Google+ post. "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. "

Crossing the streams

That sounds very much like Photos is about to launch as a separate product and what remains of Google+ will become 'Streams' - whatever that means. Top Google executive Sundar Pichai, who is in overall charge of just about everything at the company, should have more to say at MWC this week.

It looks likely that Streams will be the Facebook-style posting and commenting platform that Google+ is primarily designed for - perhaps Google wants to reboot its social networking attempt in a bid to attract more user engagement.

Hangouts is another of Google's products that's said to be decoupling from Google+, although it also lives in Gmail and as a standalone Android app. More big announcements are likely to follow at Google's I/O conference later in the year.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.