In what might be another nail in the coffin for Google+, or at least a sign Google is letting up on its heavy-handed marketing of the social platform, new users will no longer be required to sign up for Google+ when creating a Gmail account.
Prior to this, anyone signing up for a Google account was obligated to create a Google+ account as well. Now, users can simply click a “No, thanks” button when prompted to join the three-year-old social network, the WordStream Blog reported.
Google made this change with little fanfare, but a Google spokesperson told the Telegraph, “We updated the signup experience in early September. Users can now create a public profile during signup, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post).”
This is not the first concession Google has made that acknowledges users’ reticence to accept Google+. Some speculated the departure of Google+’s chief engineer, Vic Gundotra in April signaled a major change in the company’s approach to its social network.
Shortly after the news of Gundotra’s departure, Fast Company reported that Google was scaling down its Google+ branding by removing the word Google+ from the text on buttons where users sign into other sites using their Google credentials. Now Google’s developer guidelines explicitly state, “Do not use the word ‘Google+’ on your button, use the word ‘Google’ instead.”