“Important changes” coming to Google+ in the months ahead will include users no longer needing an account at the social network to post videos or comments at YouTube.
“When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life,” vice president of streams, photos and sharing Bradley Horowitz said in a blog post.
“While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink.”
Google+ launched four years ago as a social network that could provide users a single identity to use across the California-based internet firm’s popular online services.
“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier,” Horowitz said.
“But, we also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.”
YouTube will be among the first products to uncouple itself from Google+ profiles.
Google has slowly been backing away from linking services to the social network.
Google recently moved popular picture handling features into a separate Google Photos apps for mobile devices, and said it is putting location sharing into other applications such as Hangouts “where it really belongs.”
Horowitz said Google+ will live on in a more focused form, with enhancements including a “Collections” feature for organizing posts by topic.
Google+ launched in June of 2011 in a challenge to Facebook, but still has a small fraction of its rival’s huge user base.
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