Google just boosted the odds that it will acquire Twitter

Fortune

Google [fortune-stock symbol=”GOOG”] finally announced recently that it is scaling back its focus on Google+, the also-ran social network that the search giant has spent hundreds of millions of dollars and four years of its time trying to turn into a competitor to Facebook [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”]. Among other things, users will no longer be forced to sign in with a Google+ account when they log on to YouTube and other Google properties, and the useful parts of the network—such as Photos and Hangouts—have already been hived off and turned into standalone offerings.

As a lengthy piece at Mashable describes in somewhat embarrassing detail, the quest to build a Facebook-crushing social service is a classic tale with a number of lessons, including Google’s inability to understand the sheer power of Facebook’s network effects, and its hubris in thinking that gee-whiz features or forced signups would convince anyone to spend any time…

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