When Google Plus launched in 2011, Google hoped that its new social network–integrated with every portion of the Google experience–would lure eyeballs away from Facebook. That didn’t happen. Now Google is putting increasing distance between Google Plus and Google’s other services by deemphasizing Google Plus logins.
According to Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president of streams, photos, and sharing:
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 Plus profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.
So in the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel, and more, all across Google. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change, and you can learn more on their blog. As always, your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google Plus profiles. And for people who already created Google Plus profiles but don’t plan to use Google Plus itself, we’ll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles.
Horowitz, a longtime Google executive, began helming Google Plus only this past March. The new Google Photos, the company’s biggest content launch in recent months, largely replicated and improved on functions already in Google Plus–but avoided using the label of the undertrafficked social media service. His announcement indicates a deemphasis on Google’s part in integrating Google Plus into every aspect of the tech giant’s services.