One of the most frustrating things that a company can do is force its will upon its customers. This is exactly what Google has done with Google+, but this is about to change. Google have announced that they have begun to separate Google+ for YouTube. This will mean that it is no longer a requirement to use a Google+ account to use YouTube. I think the entire YouTube community just let out a huge sigh of relief.
Google+ The Ghost Town
There were such high hopes for Google+ as a social network during its private beta. A lot of momentum seemed to have built up behind it as features of it were being shared from those involved in the “invite only” phase of the beta. This reflected in Googles stocks as they shot up as the social network became public. The focus the Google had put on the social network helped to carry it on for about a year or so but it soon died off. This made it even more frustrating when the YouTube and Google+ marriage was made. This unholy union, forcing you to sign into one social network with another caused a lot of frustration, and sparked a lot of criticism.
At this stage Google+ was already a ghost town. It didn’t cater to any niche like Tumblr, nor did it has that spark that Twitter does. There was just never a draw to bring users back. Google still maintains the facade that its social network is an activity hotspot. Their claims aren’t exactly lies, but they aren’t the truth either. One claim they have made was that the Google+ app was on a majority of smart devices; generating a substantial amount of traffic. This was all down to the number of android devices being purchased which requires a Google account to use. Then when the YouTube – Google+ marriage happened, all of your comments on videos were shared on your Google+ account by default. It all feels a little bit like cheating to me.
Where To From Here
Well the Google Photos app is in the process of parting ways from Google+. You will no longer need to use your Google+ account to use Youtube now either. Former Google+ boss Bradley Horowitz announced the separation of Google+ and YouTube in a blog post. He says that he is happy they did a lot of things right, I guess it turns out that force feeding us a social network just wasn’t one of them. The now VP of Streaming, Photos and Sharing has said that they will also offer options for people to remove the Google+ accounts they do not intend on using. In the blog post Horowitz describes the move as a “pivot” to give a more Google+ focused experience. They can call it whatever they like, I’m just glad it’s gone.