It’s not you, it’s me….
In the weeks to come, Google+ will stop integrating into Google identities altogether, starting with YouTube. After a lot of user feedback, a Google Account will be all that’s necessary to share content, communicate with contacts and, most importantly, write comments on YouTube.
What this means is that comments made on YouTube are going to stay there. Nothing written will ever find its way back to Google+ and vice-versa. This starts today.
After four years together, Google+ has decided to let YouTube keep all the stuff they shared. This means, moderation options for content creators on all channels, reviewing comments before they’re posted, blocking certain words or auto-approving comments from certain fans.
While they are going their separate ways, YouTube now has the freedom to focus completely as its own video platform again without having Google+ tying it down. In fact, YouTube watch time has grown by 60 percent, its fastest in two years.
Because Google+’s user growth was tied to the growth of YouTube users, it may see a decrease in usage, growth and engagement in the coming months. Does this spell the end for Google+ as a valid social platform? Not necessarily.
When YouTube and Google+ originally hooked up, Google+ tried a little too hard to be the platform that connected all the other Google products together while still being a product in its own right. Clearly, that didn’t work out.
Unfortunately, Google+ never became the glue that kept the Google Products together, and now they’re all leaving it in the dust.
Users didn’t get to really know the social platform before they were forced to use it. Google+, which is a bit of a ghost town nowadays, can finally create its own identity rather than be tacked onto the rest of Google’s services.
While there’s currently a bit of baggage leftover, soon, a Google Account will be all that’s necessary for any of its products. While YouTube’s the first to leave, Gmail and Google Drive will soon follow. With this upcoming change, Google+ accounts can be deleted without any recourse for videos, emails or files being affected.
When it comes down to it, YouTube was just more popular as a social product of Google. It didn’t make any sense for them to be together. Not that there’s anything wrong with Google+, it’s just that every time you wanted to use any of YouTube’s features, you had to deal with Google+ (uh, clingy) and that did not prove popular with its users.
For better or worse, YouTube is already working on self-improvement post-breakup. They have worked to reduce the visibility of spam comments which has decreased the rate of dislikes on comments across the video platform by 35 percent.
But unlike Google Feed (RIP) and Google Buzz (stay dead) before it, this isn’t goodbye for Google+.
Bradley Horowitz, VP of Google Streams, Photos, and Sharing (aka Google+’s stepdad), has some choice words on the matter. “Controversially, integrating with YouTube implied that leaving a comment on YouTube suddenly and unexpectedly required ‘joining Google+.’ We want to retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google, other than Google+ itself.”
Google+ as a social layer is effectively dead, but Google+ has moved on and is going to better themselves as a Google+, a social network in its own right.
According to Horowitz, Google+ will begin to focus on helping its users around the world connect around the interests.
Google plans on giving Google+ a little love as the transitional period rolls out. While nothing happens overnight, Google users be seeing a lot of changes in the coming months.