Google To Move Away From Requiring Google+ To Use Google Services

27 July 2015

Google:

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.

You’ll see these changes roll out in stages over several months. 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.

The only way I can read this is as an admission Google+ didn’t take off in the way it wanted it to, despite being mandatory to use other popular Google products, namely YouTube. Google now focusing Plus on the small niche discussion communities where it is doing well (which are good) and leaving things like YouTube as independent, separate, products.

Although the company has been discretely signalling this transition for a while, like Google Photos being positioned as a standalone offering, this blog post is confirmation that the dream of Plus as the persistent glue that connects your Google life together is indeed over.