YouTube is going anti-social… or rather, Google is reversing its controversial decision to require users to sign up for a Google+ social network account.

New users don’t need a Google+ profile to upload videos, create a channel, or leave comments anymore. And comments left on videos won’t show up on your Google+ profile should you choose to maintain one.

This is just the latest move to unbundle Google+ from some of Google’s other services. The company recently took the technology behind Google+ Photos and launched a new service called Google Photos, while pretty much killing off the Google+ version.

And Google isn’t stopping with Photos and YouTube.

For example, location sharing will be built into Hangouts and other communication apps, rather than Google+. More changes could be on the way.

Users won’t have to create publicly visible Google+ profiles to use many of Google’s services such as YouTube or Hangouts in the future. A private Google account will do.

Meanwhile, Google+ will remain a network for users that want to have in-depth conversations about specific topics. While the platform has never been as popular as rivals Facebook or Twitter, there are some loyal Google+ users that value the ability to create groups, leave long comments, and share media easily, among other things.

When Google first launched the Google+ social network, a lot of folks figured it was a Facebook rival. Maybe Google did too. But eventually the company started to treat Google+ not only as a social network, but also a central hub for all of your activities across Google apps and services.

Some users weren’t fond of that move… and now it looks like Google is stripping Google+ for parts.

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17 replies on “Google starts unbundling Google+ from services, starting with YouTube”

  1. Personally, I rather liked the whole bundling thing. Made things convenient for me. However, I understand that a majority weren’t happy with it. Still, I hope they will still let those who want to share YouTube comments with their G+ accounts.

  2. Good move by Google. Hopefully it’ll apply to all their other services. Haven’t commented, ranked any Android apps, for example, because of the Google+ requirement. I can see how other commenter’s history (apps, google+ pages, pictures, job, etc) are all tied together. Really creepy and dangerous to have your data so easily available.

    When I come across a great app, I do write the author directly. Still… not the same as a public comment in support of their product.

  3. It’s too bad they never brought over the ‘circle’ tech from G+ to make some sense of Youtube subscriptions. They are unbelievably bad. They did have a horrible system for grouping subs. Now I think they’ve yanked that right out. If it worked like circles on G+ I’d get a lot more use out of it as I could easily group subs to keep track of. As it is now my subs are pretty much just a huge pile – most of which I never look at.

  4. I wonder how that is going to work with code maintenance and stuff for the commenting system. I hope they aren’t changing the actual commenting system. It is worlds better than the old youtube comments. G+ has a fairly nice and robust commenting system with good notification features.

    1. The G+ comment system brought some improvements, but it also made it easy for trolls and trouble-makers to hijack the conversation e.g thumbs-downing a comment is now almost completely useless. And troll comments with lots of replies get ranked higher, making them more visible and drawing more replies, resulting in a death spiral of arguments.

    1. The only thing I had to do was create a separate profile under my main Google account so I could keep posting anonymously on YouTube. I don’t recall being force fed anything else, not that I used it either, so I won’t miss it.

  5. Bowing to the inevitable, no doubt, but perhaps they have also come to the conclusion that it’s better to diversity into a suite of strong, but independent services, like YouTube and Google Photos rather than risk pushing everything under one umbrella product, like Facebook does.

    Not that Facebook is going anywhere soon, but should it ever fall out of favor, their whole edifice will come tumbling down. That’s very unlikely to happen with Google as currently structured.

  6. Oh happy day. I can’t wait until Google+ is seperated from Hangouts.

    I use Hangouts as my SMS app, and several of my friends use it too. Alot of people refuse to use it because they don’t want or don’t understand Google+

      1. “Users won’t have to create publicly visible Google+ profiles to use many of Google’s services such as YouTube or Hangouts in the future.”

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