Today Google announced Google+ will no longer be a requirement to access Google services, marking another chapter in the storied history of the ill-fated social network.
In the announcement Google admitted it may have made a mistake in making Google+ mandatory for all users:
“When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life. While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink.”
In the coming months Google will uncouple Google+ from all of its services — meaning you’ll be able to access everything with a simple Google account.
This is an especially significant change for YouTube, where users have long complained about needing to create a new Google+ page if they wanted to create a new channel.
Whether it’s YouTube, or Gmail, or Google Analytics — a regular Google account is all you’ll need to use the companies web based services.
If you already have a Google+ account you will be given the option to remove it in the future. No further details were revealed about that, but I assume we’ll hear more when the company officially severs its connection to Google+.
Google+ will soon become a 100% optional service, which is music to many peoples’ ears who have griped about it being forced on everyone since launch.
It will be fascinating to see, in the coming months, how this alters the landscape of Google+.
Many are already declaring the social network “dead”. This may end up being the beginning for the end, or it may be an opportunity for Google+ to take on a new, autonomous life separated from Google.