The Demise of Google+
Could it be that Google is finally declaring defeat? Their much maligned social network has been struggling since the beginning and with the odd assortment of Google requirements tacked on to users’ accounts, they didn’t seem to want that life preserver they were thrown.
This past week Google added another nail in the coffin of Google+ by removing the requirement for a Google+ account before using YouTube or any other Google sites. This is a big loss for the social network as that was the main idea behind it, giving its users one identity across all devices. As a user of two smartphones, a tablet, a handful of wearables and enough computers and laptops to give my coworkers reason for worry, I kind of liked Google’s idea.
What went wrong though, was Google forced people to comply with their one world, one identity idea. Nobody liked it even if it did have their best interest in mind. Plus, when you factor in that Google’s own statistics about their monthly active users was always skewed, something that Facebook and Twitter have experienced, they lost a lot of consumer interest.
Google Vice President Bradley Horowitz stated “While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink,” and in in a seperate post, that the team wants to “formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google… other than using Google+ itself.“
So there you have it; you will only need a Google Account, not a Google+ account, to use Google’s services. These changes will start with YouTube as it was the most battered front for Google.
“As always, your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles,” Horowitz writes. “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.“
Google has also gone on record to state that these changes will be rolling out in stages rather than being in one drastic leap that could alienate those of us that like Google+.
“While they won’t happen overnight, they’re right for Google’s users—both the people who are on Google+ every single day, and the people who aren’t.”