I read about profile pictures being dropped from search results back in June. However, as reported by The Next Web, authorship is now being completely removed.
"Now that authorship has been dropped completely, webmasters can remove all rel=author markup they have on their site. All the effort adding and maintaining the functionality has now gone out the window, but that’s what happens when so many Web properties rely on a single source for driving massive traffic."
It's hard to tell what the usage statistics are for Google+ due to Google forcably integrating accounts across products (e.g. YouTube to Google+). Thus, we'll never how many accounts would have been setup by choice.
But it leads me to ask what's left for Google+? What niche does it fill? The only reason I set it up was for authorship and therefore it's now of no use to me. Twitter and Facebook continue to fill every other need I have from a social network perspective.
I'm off to remove my authorship tags and profile.