Google+ profiles will no longer be the be-all and end-all identity for users across the company’s platforms such as YouTube, Google said Monday.
Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president of streams, photos and sharing, wrote in a blog post Monday that although the company got certain things right with Google+, there were a few choices that, “in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink.”
Google+ launched in June 2011 as a social network to give users a single identity across all Google platforms, and offer some competition to rival Facebook. But some users did not react well to the forced integration with Google+.
“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier,” Horowitz said, “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.”
In a bid to make a “more focused, more useful, more engaging” Google+, Horowitz said, over the next few months the company will unravel certain Google+ features and only require a Google account for access. Unlike the public Google+ profiles, Google accounts are not searchable or followable, he said.
With these changes, people who don’t use Google+ will not need a public profile to use other Google products.
The first platform to make the break will be YouTube, which previously required users to have a Google+ account to comment, share, or upload videos on the site. Starting today, users will only need a Google account to engage on YouTube. Comments made on YouTube will not appear on Google+, and vise versa.
Google announced last week that it’s shutting down Google+ Photos by Aug. 1 to make room for a stand-alone Google Photos app. Horowitz also said that they’re underway putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps,”
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