Google is taking the rollout of Google+ very seriously. Rather than see another Google Buzz fail, they’re pulling out all the stops. Literally. Rather than offer competing applications with non-Googley names, they’re simply turning off Picasa and Blogger to basically force those users into the Google+ platform. According to Mashable, the move is part of a larger effort to unify its brand for the public launch of Google+, the search giant’s social initiative:
Blogger and Picasa aren’t going away, of course — they’re two of Google’s most popular products. Instead, according to two sources familiar with the matter, Google intends to rename Picasa “Google Photos” and Blogger will become “Google Blogs.” Several other Google brands are likely to be affected, though our sources made it clear that YouTube would not be rebranded. The technology giant shut down Google Video, its failed web video service, in May.
So what does this mean for usability? You can probably guess as well as me that both Picasa and Blogger are going to see a design refresh that falls in line with the new theme seen in Google+. If you’re not yet a member of Google+ but want to take this new design for a test drive, here’s how to get the new design for Gmail right now.
What do you think? Will the name change and design refresh affect whether you use the service or switch to a competing application? Will you dump Blogger / Google Blogs in favor of Tumblr or WordPress? Would you stop using Picasa / Google Photos and take the plunge into Flickr? Weigh in down in the comments or by mentioning @edudemic on Twitter!