For those Google lovers that saw Google+ as a solid competitor to Facebook and an ideal way to streamline all Google product interfacing, things are about to change. After four years of pushing Google+ as a social network alternative to Facebook and as a way to create a unified account system for all Google products, Google has realized the platform’s limitations and user frustrations and are changing the way they integrate Google+ with their other products.

In a blog earlier this week, Google VP Bradley Horowitz announced plans to uncouple Google+ with other Google products, starting with YouTube. This means you will no longer require a Google+ account for comments on videos posted, just a basic Google account.

Why the change? Some people don’t want to be forced into a social media platform so they can comment on YouTube. Others prefer their privacy – Google accounts aren’t searchable or followable like Google+ profiles are.

Bradley admitted that Google+ wasn’t for the mass population, as public commentary as shown. To that end, they are also rolling out ways to remove your public profile in the near future.

What does this mean? This means that Google+ is definitely scaling back and attempting to refocus itself on what its core users like—discovering great content and profiles to follow. Whether Bradley’s blog indicates the beginning of the end of Google+ remains to be seen, but these changes seem to point toward a significant shift in the business model.

by: Jennifer Clarin

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