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In an interview with Steven Levy published on May 28, 2015, Horowitz said that Google was about to undergo a "huge shift" that would better reflect how the service is actually used.
By that time, two core Google functions, communications and photos, had become standalone services.
For the unsegmented Stream (includes content from all of a user's Circles), each Circle has a "slider" configuration item with four positions: nothing, some things, most things, and everything.
The nothing position requires the user to select (click on) the Circle name explicitly to see content from users in that Circle.
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 ".
Along with the text entry field there are icons to upload and share photos and videos.
The Stream can be filtered to show only posts from specific Circles.
In February 2014, The New York Times likened Google to a ghost town, citing Google stats of 540 million "monthly active users", but noting that almost half don't visit the site.
The company replied that the significance of Google was less as a Facebook competitor than as a means of gathering and connecting user information from Google's various services.