Google’s 2013 decision to incorporate Google+ accounts into YouTube’s channels and comments resulted in one of the most intense user firestorms in YouTube history. Nearly two years later, Google is reversing its change, as Google+ accounts will no longer be a requirement for creators who wish to post content on YouTube.
Google’s decision to decrease Google+’s influence across its other properties is not surprising, given the limited impact the social media network has had in its four years of existence. “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,” reads a post from the Google+ blog. “YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change, and you can learn more on their blog.”
Previously, YouTube’s channels, videos, and comments were linked to each user’s Google+ account. This format proved to be hugely unpopular for multiple reasons. It pushed YouTube users onto a social network many of them did not wish to use, jumbled up subscription boxes, and, at least initially, threw the video site’s comment section into chaos.
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In the year-plus since YouTube’s Google+ integration, criticism has cooled down. Nonetheless, the move away from the previous format seems to be resonating well with site users. “I’ve been advocating this change for ages, due especially to continuing problems with YouTube trolls — sometimes threatening ones — polluting my G+ threads when I share YouTube video references on G+ along with my own thoughts,” reads a top-voted comment on YouTube’s most recent blog post about the topic.
While there are a few dissenters, most YouTube users seem to be strongly in favor of the new policy. YouTube knew Google+ integration was unpopular. As the site’s blog post succinctly described the new change: “We think you’ll like it.”