Crazy thought: maybe Google didn’t like (in the end) the ease of massively sharing hundreds of people’s profiles to thousands other people. Maybe that served the purpose of many people being happy to have thousands of followers (and thus be happy to be on Google+). Maybe they found out that it doesn’t improve overall post quality in the long run.
Maybe they realised we should curate content instead of people. And thus, shared circles are killed, and collections are born.
And now we get to handpick other people’s good content, and try to promote a collection of it. And now we’re on Level 2 of the Google+ Maze.