"Trimming a bloated ship" made me immediately think of layoffs. Then I read the article, and the tone was quite different, it looks like he's just re-focusing efforts and killing unpopular projects.
IMO, "Me Too" products only make sense if you have the valid hope to be able to offer something better than the existing products. Gmail for example was vastly better than any existing popular browser based email client. Facebook is sufficiently "good" and hard to improve further, so I'm afraid Google will have a hard time coming up with something that will convince people to make the switch.
Speaking personally as an avid Google+ user, I think that while it's fair to compare the two (Google+ and Facebook) I think they're approaching the same problem from two different angles. Google+ is becoming my source for meaningful posts, I see a lot more worthwhile content on Google+, whereas Facebook has become something I use a lot less because it's filled with the mundane comments of someone's day to day life. I think there's room for both types of posts and with Google+ focusing on the circles and who you share your posts with it allows you to filter out the noise and see what you want to see. Google+ right now, is in its infancy and I think it's unfair to dismiss it completely (you didn't but I often see people here on Hacker News doing so) as the uses of Google+ are still being fleshed out. Right now I would say Google+ is like Twitter without any character limits, but also like Facebook in that it has more of a focus on socializing. It's an evolution of online social networking in my opinion and as its use spreads into more groups of people it starts to really shine. For example, I keep a circle called "Tech People" in it are various people related to technology, some I know personally others notable tech celebs and developers. What I love about this circle is how I can open its stream and see various posts from people like Guido Van Rossum to Tim O'Reilly where they discuss issues in technology, their careers, development, etc. Then at the same time I have a circle dedicated to Art (I didn't want to make it too specific to something like photographers or anythingf) where I can turn to it to see posts on new photos from people like Trey Ratcliff, or interesting music from another user. The point is, Google+ has become a way for me to organize my interests and notable people that share these interests while also allowing me to socialize with my friends from my hometown by keeping a circle for them. Facebook may have groups, but Google+ makes circles a key feature of the network and that's where I think the true distinction lies. Google+ lets you segregate your various connections in life into circles and hinges on this fact, Facebook has groups as an afterthought and that's what I truly think divides the two.