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Smart Content requires Internet access and may not be available in all languages. Certain Smart TV features may requires firmware upgrades. All other company, product and service names mentioned herein are trademarks, registered trademarks, service marks or trade names of their respective owners. The company also eliminated the Google social layer; users no longer needed a Google profile to share content and communicate with contacts.The transition began with You Tube, where a Google profile was no longer required to create, upload, or comment on a channel, but a Google page was instead required. Subscription option provides additional services, and unlocks hidden features.Generally allows art-specific content only, as the service is not a generic image hosting service.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.
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 ".
No limits on resolution of images or length of videos.
Additional paid subscriptions available with increased storage.
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.