Thank you Google!
If this is true, it's perhaps the best move Google's ever made. I've made my arguments before. I don't necessarily hate Google+ as a whole, I just hate how Google kept on trying to force its users to engage socially on their nascent platform with forced integration and opt-out policies.
As part of these staff changes, the Google Hangouts team will be moving to the Android team, and it’s likely that the photos team will follow, these people said. Basically, talent will be shifting away from the Google+ kingdom and towards Android as a platform, we’re hearing.
Having the photos team integrate the technologies backing Google+ photos tightly into the Android camera product, for instance, could be a net win for Android users.
We’ve heard that there were tensions between Gundotra and others inside the company, especially surrounding the "forced" integrations of Google+ into products like YouTube and Gmail. Apparently, once each of those integrations was made, they were initially being claimed as "active user" wins until Page stepped in and made a distinction.
In the long run, the issues with Google+ didn’t especially stem from the design of the product itself, but more from the way it interjected itself into your day-to-day Google experience like some unwelcome hairy spider. Perhaps these changes will scale back the grating party crashing?
Edit: Also Re/Code is reporting that they were hearing the same rumors:
The context: Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard some of the same chatter as TechCrunch reported on – specifically, that Google+ may be split into parts, with products like photos being spun off.