- ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ delivers a powerfully political episode Thursday 8:30 PM
- Bowser is taking over Nintendo—and the memes make themselves Thursday 7:02 PM
- California aims to strengthen data breach notification law Thursday 5:37 PM
- Feds say college student operated drug business through gaming app Thursday 4:36 PM
- Trump is again using old videos to claim his border wall is ‘under construction Thursday 4:05 PM
- Laura Loomer led a second protest at Twitter yesterday Thursday 3:37 PM
- The eyes have it in these ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ memes Thursday 2:13 PM
- Facebook let advertisers target users interested in infamous Nazis Thursday 1:58 PM
- Dem senator promises to put net neutrality on the ‘political hot seat’ in coming months Thursday 1:28 PM
- Someone figured out that Toothless from ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ looks just like Bulbasaur Thursday 12:44 PM
- Disturbing Snapchat video shows 17-year-old throwing dog on trampoline Thursday 12:16 PM
- How to watch the new Bon Appetit channel for free Thursday 12:03 PM
- Eminem disses Netflix for canceling ‘The Punisher’ Thursday 11:50 AM
- Florida prisons sued for depriving inmates of music they paid for Thursday 11:36 AM
- Chris Hemsworth will become Hulk Hogan for Netflix biopic Thursday 11:29 AM
Google+ breathes its last breath as Google axes login requirements
Google finally realizes what the Internet suspected all along.
In a huge pivot in Google’s original plan, the company will no longer require a Google+ login to use services like YouTube.
When Google forced Google+ accounts on anyone wanting to comment or upload videos on YouTube in 2013, the service exploded with complaints and frustration. It appears that Google is finally caving to what most of its users wanted all along—using Google products without being forced to have a social media profile that aggregates data across services.
Over the next few months, Google will start backing away from the forced integration, and you’ll be able to delete your Google+ account and still have access other company features. Google is advising people to wait a few months before deleting accounts, however, as you might lose your YouTube channel if you disconnect it before Google says you can.
It was only a matter of time before Google pulled the plug on forced Google+ accounts. Google’s failure to turn Google+ into a thriving social network or social identity was due in part to its failure to determine what, exactly, the point of it was. The company’s aggressive approach to growing the social network didn’t help, either.
Google never addressed a number of Google+’s major problems, including putting Google+ accounts high in search results despite a lack of helpful information, cross-posting all YouTube comments to a Google+ page, a real name policy similar to Facebook’s, and being forced to have a Google+ account for each individual Gmail account.
But the company isn’t giving up on Google+ entirely, yet. In a blog post that reads like a eulogy for a bad idea, Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president of streams, photos, and sharing, said the social ghost town will focus more on “shared interests.”
Google+ is quickly becoming a place where people engage around their shared interests, with the content and people who inspire them. In line with that focus, we’re continuing to add new features like Google+ Collections, where you can share and enjoy posts organized by the topics you care about.
Google recently launched Photos, turning the best part of Google+ into a standalone application. Now, with Google+ disintegration quickly dissolving any strings you might have attached to Google’s social umbrella, there are fewer reasons why you would use it at all.
It’s safe to say that Google+ is finally reaching its sunset era. Google+ head Vic Gundotra’s departure in April 2014 sparked rumors of the social network’s pending demise. It took Google over a year to confirm our suspicions, but Monday’s news substantiates what most people thought all along: Google+ never really worked.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.