Google+ is an ambitious project. Launched back in 2011, the service comes to compete with the likes of Facebook and other major social media. But the project has become more of a "ghost town" rather than a populated active social media. To patch things up, Google started to separate Google+ from its other services.
"People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier," said Bradley Horowitz, Chief of Google+. "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."
Users were once required to have a Google+ profile to log in to any of Google's connected services. Starting July 27th, 2015, this is no longer a requirement. Users are able to use their general Google accounts to access everything, the company said.
The change applies to all of Google's services, starting with YouTube which has become one of Google's most important service and powerful revenue source.
"While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we've needed to rethink," said Horowitz.
The change is a contrast to what Google was in 2013 when it started requiring users to use Google+ accounts to do almost everything with Google. The policy was meant to make Google users to use the company's social media network. But that intention didn't work out as planned.
Google+ started with a "bang", But after four years of existence, many people still have no idea what's the purpose of their Google+ profiles. Furthermore, although with Google's massive resource and intensive approach, Google+ still struggled hard to even come close to Facebook.
Google+ is one of Google's biggest investment in the social network business. Facebook that came to be the biggest social network became the powerhouse of online advertising, especially on mobile. The social network giant earned $7.4 billion in 2014 on mobile ads only. This is getting into Google's attention since much of its market revenue pie is slowly taken by the social network giant.
When battling against Facebook, Google didn't break out advertising to get more out of mobile, but is has struggled to catch up with Facebook.
As of Google+, Google is not letting its investment die eaten by time. Horowitz said that the social network "will be changing." The company will continue to add new features to Google+ to keep in line with the social media industry, starting with its new mission: to connect people based on shared interests.
"You'll see these changes roll out in stages over several months. While they won't happen overnight, they're right for Google's users - both the people who are on Google+ every single day, and the people who aren't," said Google in its blog post.