"Google Plus is not dead," Bradley Horowitz, who now leads the ersatz social network, told Steven Levy last week ahead of the Google I/O developer conference. "In fact, it's got more signs of life than it's had in some time." In a classic sign of life, Google+ links began disappearing today from their most prominent places in Google's ecosystem.
The +[your name here] that you used to see on Google's home page? Gone. The same link in Gmail? Gone. Your name still appears, but it's no longer a link. To navigate to Google+, you must now click the grid of nine squares that appears next to your name, which opens a drop-down menu of other Google apps. Google+ is still there, sitting below Maps and YouTube and the very good new Google Photos, undeniably alive.
"Today we began rolling out a couple of changes to our main Google navigation bar in order to simplify the user interface," a spokeswoman told us via email.
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