One of the lamest things that Google did in recent years was to require that everyone signup for a Google+ account just so that they post comments or share content across its vast portfolio of services. If you wanted to simply leave a brief comment on a YouTube video showcasing adorable little kittens, you needed Google+.
Of course, we all knew why Google made this move. It wanted to “encourage” its customers to use the social network and bolster of its usage numbers to counter the likes of Facebook and Twitter. However, Google could no longer turn a deaf ear to its many critics. In late May, the search giant took the best from its Google+ Photos to create the similarly named Google Photos. And last week, Google put Google+ Photos on deathwatch.
Today, the social network’s inevitable downfall is becoming even more apparent as the company is no longer requiring Google users to have a Google+ account to comment on and like (or dislike) YouTube videos. “The comments you make on YouTube will now appear only on YouTube, not also on Google+. And vice-versa. This starts rolling out today,” said the YouTube Team in a company blog.
That same courtesy will also be extended “when you want to upload, comment, or create a channel” within the coming weeks. However, the YouTube Team warns that you shouldn’t start jumping for joy prematurely in an effort to delete your Google+ account. “If you want to remove your Google+ profile, you’ll be able to do this in the coming months, but do not do it now or you’ll delete your YouTube channel.”
“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier,” explained Bradley Horowitz, Google VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing, in a separate Google blog posting. “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.”
This is a huge win for Google users that value their privacy and didn’t like having the Google+ social network rammed down their throats. The fact that Google is dropping the “social” requirement from all of its properties clearly shows that it sees the writing on the wall. “While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink,” Horowitz continued.