If you make a post on Google+ but there’s no one there to read it, is that any different from a normal day?
This and other jokes of its kind are commonly swapped by social media junkies about Google’s long-lived social network project that has seen mediocre success. Granted, Google+ has accrued about 300 million users, according to Statistica, but that may have come as a result of tying a mandatory Google+ account to many of its other services, such as YouTube and Gmail. That requirement led to other types of jokes at the expense of Google.
But as of today, Google is going to lay off the pressure to create a Google+ account. Starting with YouTube, and then moving on to its other services, users will only require a Google account to make use of the services. In the case of YouTube, that means you can start a channel without linking a Google+ profile and comments made on videos will appear only on YouTube, not on Google+ as well.
“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 use,” writes Bradley Horowitz, vice-president of streams, photos, and sharing at Google.
There may even be reason to think that we’ll see Google+ accounts decrease in the months ahead. For those who only created the accounts to access services like YouTube, Google will be offering ways to removing the public pages without disrupting access to its services.
Horowitz says the same changes will be rolling out to other services in coming months. So businesses that are using Hangouts for conferencing or managing a listing on Google Local will no longer need employees to maintain a Google+ profile.
Instead of being a social gateway to the web, it appears that Google is content on making Plus more of a sophisticated set of forums in the future, allowing users to focus on holding conversations around specific interests and removing any distractions from doing that.