Google has been making significant changes lately with its products, mostly those centered around Google+. Earlier this year Google introduced Google Photos, added Collections to Google+, and recently announced that Google+ Photos will be disappearing in August. A lot of these changes have fuelled the “Google+ is dead” crowd, and this next update is sure to refuel those fires.
Bradley Horowitz, VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing for Google, has announced on the official Google blog that over the next few months users will be able to use Google products without having to create a Google+ account and instead will be able to use their standard Google account. This has often been an issue with many users who felt that the change made after Google+ arrived on the scene was Google’s way of driving up Google+ adoption rate numbers. YouTube will be the first to make the change:
So in the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change, and you can learn more on their blog. As always, your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles. 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.
The YouTube blog re-iterates this change but warns users against removing their Google+ profile now as it will also delete their YouTube channel. More information should follow closer to the date that users will be able to make this change.
Another key change to the YouTube comment system and Google+ integration is that comments made on one product will no longer be reflected on the other.
With today’s announcement from Google+, you’ll see more changes. The comments you make on YouTube will now appear only on YouTube, not also on Google+. And vice-versa. This starts rolling out today.
This is an interesting change as with the current comment system on YouTube it doesn’t matter whether people comment on a YouTube video directly on YouTube or on a Google+ share as they are visible on the YouTube video itself, which allows for more interaction between users. The upcoming changes will cause a split and there will be multiple comment streams going forward depending on the number of times a video is shared to Google+.
Google+ is far from dead though, as Horowitz also mentions that the changes made with the Google Photos app, and the upcoming move to putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps will lead to a “more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+” for it’s users.
What do you think about these latest Google+/YouTube changes? Are they the right move to making Google+ a better service or an indication of something else? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.