It finally happened. It was a matter of time, really. And on Monday, it did happen – Google announced that it won’t keep forcing people to create or use a Google Plus account to access other Google services. Yes, YouTubers, your complaints have been heard.
Just like Google posted it on its official blog: “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.” Additionally, the company has promised that it’ll make it easier for people to delete Google Plus profiles that were forced upon them.
Though Google Plus will keep living, this blogpost can be read for what it truly is – Google finally saying that the social network will never be a worthy Facebook rival, even with all of the Mountain View-based company’s resources behind it. Because, let’s face it, if Google and its billions couldn’t force people to use the social network (and, boy, did they try), then no one can.
And what happens now? Will Google Plus go through the silent death its predecessors already went through? Seems unlikely, especially in the near future. In the meantime, Google is talking about this process as a way to get “a more focused Google Plus experience”. Of course, this focused experience’s future fortune depends on the ability of Plus to reinvent itself and find a niche in the overpopulated social networking world.
As some tech reporters are saying, it certainly feels as if Google Plus will try to emulate Pinterest by revolving around interest-based communities tied by niche topics. In fact, the new Collections feature seem to be following that direction, since it makes it easier for people to follow general topics rather than other users. Given what happened to very similar products Google used to have (did anyone say Buzz?), it’s hard to tell if that shift will be enough to save Plus from the axe.
Naturally, many of you might be wondering – but what happen to our marketing strategies already planned for Google Plus? I’d say hold on to them for the time being. It’s hard to tell how much influence Plus still has over the company’s search engine, so it wouldn’t be wise to abandon your strategy now – especially if you have an active following. A few months after this announcement, we’ll have a clearer picture to understand if those efforts are worth it or if all of us, just like Google, will have to let go of Plus’ hand.