Google Gives Up On Google+

Google+ is dying a slow death. No longer will users require a Google+ account in order to use all the different Google products. Instead, they will be able to do everything across Google as long as they have a Google/Gmail account.

In line with these changes, YouTube will go back to being a by-product of a Google account, not a Google+ profile. A Google+ profile will also no longer be needed when a user wants to upload, comment, or create a channel.

“While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink. People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But 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 us,” notes Bradley Horowitz, vice president of streams, photos, and sharing for Google, in a blog post.

Horowitz also addressed the security concerns that some users attached to this Google+ functionality.

“As always, your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles. 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,” he says.

This linking of accounts in a public way allegedly led to the outing of a transgender woman who had not previously revealed to colleagues that she had undergone reassignment surgery.

The dismantling of Google+ began with the announcement of Google Photos at Google I/O in June. The dependency on Google+ for Hangouts had already been diminished, but the end of photo sharing was a clear nail in the coffin. Google+ will continue as an optional social network, which differentiates itself through organising posts by like-minded topics rather than people. How long that will last remains to be seen but, with the failure of Google’s third social network after Orkut and Buzz, you’ve got to admire Mountain View for plugging ever on. 

 

*Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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