Google lifting Google+ social network requirement for YouTube, other services

27 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Is Finally Divorcing Google+.

The oft-mocked Google+ is getting stripped of features that’ll be incorporated elsewhere into the Googleverse. The company will soon let users sign into a basic Google account when accessing services across its product lineup — instead of having to join the social-networking tool, Bradley Horowitz, vice president, said Monday in a blog.It’s no secret that Google+ didn’t quite work out the way Google envisioned and now, after already moving Google Photos out of the service, it’s starting to decouple Google+ profiles from its regular Google accounts.

Google has decided to “move some features that aren’t essential to an interest-based social experience out of Google+,” according to a post on its official blog today. Today the company published a blog post announcing that over the next few months, “a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google.” The decision comes several months after Google stopped forcing new users to create accounts under its social network, which has failed to become the Facebook and Twitter competitor Mountain View once hoped it would be. In the coming weeks, visitors will be able to comment, upload a clip or create a channel without a Google+ profile. “When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life,” Horowitz said. “While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink.” The search giant, which introduced the social service in 2011, is pulling back the Google+ feature after it failed to slow the growth of rival Facebook Inc. Google has also split successful Google+ features like Photos into stand-alone products, a strategy it says will continue. “We’re well underway putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps, where it really belongs,” Google’s Bradley Horowitz wrote. “We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.” “Your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles,” Horowitz says. “And for people who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use Google+ itself, we’ll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles.” YouTube will be among the first big services to move away from Google+. These requirements were meant to improve comment quality on YouTube, and promote Google+ itself, but were met by resistance by many of the site’s users.

The focus of Google+ — which still isn’t quite dead — will be on “becoming a place where people engage around their shared interests, with the content and people who inspire them.” That means Google will focus on features like Google+ Collections and move location-sharing to tools like Hangouts, where they, according to Horowitz, really belong. With today’s update, it’s clear that Google+ will continue to live, but while Horowitz argues that Google wants to give the service more focus, it’s hard not to look at today’s news and think that the company is indeed slowly giving up on it. With Photos, Google already ripped out the best part of Google+ and all that’s left now is a tepid social network around the idea of “shared interests.”

What’s more, Google’s requirement to register for Google+ accounts led to many users signing up for it, but never actually using any of its features.

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