Until January 24, 2017, users accessing the site using desktop computers could access some of the discontinued features by selecting option "Back to classic G ".Google 's user base was roughly 60% male and 25% female as of November 2013, and 15% "other" or unknown.Starting in November 2011, Google profiles are used as the background account for many Google Services including You Tube, Gmail, Google Maps, Android, Google Play, Google Music, Google Voice, Google Wallet, Google Local and more.As of January 10, Google Search is customized with a feature called Search Plus Your World, which inserts content shared on Google profiles and brand pages under Web Search results, if one is logged into their Google account while using it.It also includes several identity service sections, such as a contributor and other profiles area that let one link their "properties across the web".These sections optionally link to other social media accounts one has, any blogs one owns or have written or sites one is a contributor to. Once a circle is created, a Google user can share specific private content to only that circle.For example, work themed content can be shared with only colleagues, and one's friends and family could see more personal content and photos.The option to share Public or with Everyone is always available.
For the unsegmented Stream (includes content from all of a user's Circles), each Circle has a drop-down configuration item with four options: none, fewer, standard, and more.
Google Hangouts, Google's communications platform, was announced two years earlier, also at Google I/O.
Google subsequently refocused Google on shared interests, removing features not supporting "an interest-based social experience".
Three Google executives have overseen the service, which has undergone substantial changes leading to a redesign in November 2015.
Google is the company's fourth foray into social networking, following Google Buzz (launched 2010, retired in 2011), Google Friend Connect (launched 2008, retired by March 1, 2012), and Orkut (launched in 2004, as of 2013). Features included the ability to post photos and status updates to the stream or interest based communities, group different types of relationships (rather than simply "friends") into Circles, a multi-person instant messaging, text and video chat called Hangouts, events, location tagging, and the ability to edit and upload photos to private cloud-based albums.
Consequently, the reported number of active users on Google grew significantly, but the average time those users spent on the site was a small fraction of that on comparable social media services.