It seems that every few months, another “Google+ is dead!” article comes along and rankles the devoted users of Google’s oft-maligned social network. This isn’t that type of article, though it’s difficult to see much of a future in G+ when Google continues to strip away functionality from the platform. Users have reported the ability to post Google Play reviews without a Google+ account, a change that will likely be welcomed by many.
A couple of years ago, Google tried to tie all of its services into Google+ in an effort to bolster the user base of the site. The thinking was probably something along the lines of: “well, they’re already using all of these other services, if we tie those into G+ maybe more people will use G+ too.” G+ users mostly took it in stride as they were already using the site, but there was significant backlash among people that wanted nothing to do with the network. Since adoption didn’t dramatically increase, Google has slowly but surely been dismantling the previous connections that it made.
YouTube comments no longer require a Google+ account, Google Photos can be used without G+, and now it appears that Google Play reviews are the next to be removed from the Plus. Several users reported their ability to post Google Play reviews without a Google+ account to Android Police. The change seems to have come after the ability to +1 apps on the Play Store was removed.
The change ought to be a welcome one for users that were hesitant to sign up for Google+, and will be seen as yet another death knell for the site in all of the “G+ IZ DED” articles that will undoubtedly pop up. I’m kind of in the middle though. I think the idea of combining all Google products and requiring a Google+ account to bind them all together was maybe a bit shortsighted. I am personally a big fan of G+, but can understand why others may not want to sign up for another social network. I do truly hope that G+ sticks around, but Google likely realized that they can get more interaction specifically on Google Play reviews by removing the Google+ integration.
Android is still far and away the leader for total number of devices out there, and the vast majority of those devices have Google Play installed. It would probably be an over-estimate to think that even 1/3 of the total number of Android users had signed up for Google+, so by removing that roadblock for reviews, Google could see a huge increase in the number of app, movie, book, and music reviews on the Play Store.
What do you think about Google axing the Google+ requirement for Play Store reviews? Leave us a comment below, or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or even Google+.Source: Ars Technica