Could YouTube update be beginning of the end for Google+?
Google will no longer force users to create Google+ profiles, continuing the separation of the social network from the company’s other services. Google says the change will come to YouTube first, but will be rolled out across its other services in the coming months.
Previously, those wanting to use Google services such as YouTube were forced to set up and use a Google+ profile, but after a clear lack of interest from the public, Google has changed tack. A new post on the company’s blog admits: “We’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.”
Instead, users will only need a basic Google Account to “share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more,” marking a U-turn in the company’s thinking. What’s more, Google says these basic accounts won’t be searchable or followable, allowing for increased privacy. For those with unwanted Google+ accounts, Google says it will “offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles”.
Going to a better place
The move can only be seen as the beginning of the end for Google+, a social network Google hoped would overtake Facebook and Twitter. Although the company’s decision can be seen as an admission of failure, it’s also a step forward for Google – and is good news for those that use its more popular services.
Rather than scrapping Google+ entirely, Google has begun to salvage the more popular elements of its failed social service. Instead of bundling great features into a dying product, Google is now putting them back into their rightful places.
A blog post by Google’s vice president of Streams, Photos and Sharing, Bradley Horowitz, explains: “For example, many elements of Google+ Photos have been moved into the new Google Photos app, and we’re well underway putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps, where it really belongs.”
Although Google+ is gradually being removed from its other services, Google is still working hard to improve it. The blog post also states that Google is still adding new features to its social network, such as Google+ Collections, “where you can share and enjoy posts organised by the topics you care about”.