Monday, July 27, 2015

Google+ Breaks Up with YouTube

Well, not yet, but there are changes coming in terms of how Google is going to take the focus off Google+ and put it more on a user’s Google Account. Earlier today, according to an official blog post titled “Everything in its right place”, Google announced that they will be making a few changes in the coming months.

Google’s VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing, Bradley Horowitz said “People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.

Essentially, they are decentralizing the Google+ Profile which currently acts as a user’s identity across Google services like Gmail, YouTube, Google+, Drive, Hangouts, etc. Their plan is to make users’ Google Account as their main identity for Google services. Also, currently, Google+ Profiles are searchable via Google Search, whereas, users’ Google Account won’t be.

One of the first changes that we will see is the decoupling of Google+ and YouTube. Based on the official blog post from the YouTube Team titled “Keeping the conversation going” and immediate change will be that comments made on YouTube videos will not appear on Google+ and vice-versa. As far as I know, my comments that I posted on YouTube videos never appeared on Google+ unless I checked the box to allow comments to appear on my Google+ timeline (see screenshot below).

Also, going forward, once the changes are implemented, users won’t need a Google+ profile to create a YouTube channel, upload videos and comment on YouTube videos. Bear in mind that these changes have not yet been implemented, therefore, don’t rush to delete your Google+ profile. In doing so, you will delete your YouTube channel, and you don’t want that – so hold your horses!

When changes like these are implemented one often thinks whether the death of Google+ is soon coming. It’s difficult to say because Google has done this before where they’ve launched products and then pulled them off the shelves. To that end, Mr. Horowitz says “We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.” So Google+ is here to stay as far as we know it.

I know many people don’t like Google+ and cringed when the Google+ profile was used as the one central identity for Google services. I may be in the minority when I say this, but personally, I like Google+ much better than Facebook and liked the fact that I had a choice to allow my comments to appear on Google+. It helped greatly because I have an active YouTube channel and could managed comments from within YouTube as well as from within Google+.

As far as I know it, now Google+ and YouTube are going to be separate which means duplicate work if I want to share it on Google+. On the brighter side, I do like that our Google Accounts will be our main identity for using Google services, instead of the Google+ profile.

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