One of the interesting things I saw on Techmeme this morning was the news that Google is to retire the Blogger and Picasa brands in a bigger Google+ push which will happen for the public release in around six weeks time.
Though it’s not uncommon for Google to rebrand the products it has bought, it doesn’t usually happen this long after the product was acquired (2003 for Blogger and 2004 for Picasa), or for products as popular as these.
Just in time for the public release of Google+, Picasa and Blogger will now be known as ‘Google Photos’ and ‘Google Blogs’.
The news comes as more evidence that Google are as serious as ever about pushing Google+; and, actually, makes perfect sense.
The logic behind the change is obvious – the average person on the street may know what a blog is, but they may not know that Blogger is part of Google – a company that they probably (and stupidly?) trust. Similarly, it’s likely a lot of people won’t have even heard of Picasa, let alone know where to find it or how to use it, whereas ‘Google Photos’ makes perfect sense, everyone will know what it is and how to use it.
By folding Picasa and Blogger into the Google brand they’re keeping in line with the new Google+ branding: it’s the Google you already use – with more stuff. Getting these average users to switch on Google+ would be much easier than getting them to sign up for an additional service like Picasa.
Think about this in terms of Facebook today, users see it as just one entity, even though it does have separate applications. The functionality for photos, events, questions, email etc. is just part of one destination – once they’re connected it’s very easy to use the extra features.
With Google+ the advertising giant is in a position to do a similar thing for consumers. Smart move.