Google throttles back vision for its social network

SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Monday said it is throttling back on its vision of having profiles at its social network serve as people’s identities across its range of online offerings.

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“Important changes” coming to Google+ in the months ahead will include users no longer needing an account at the social network to post videos or comments at YouTube.

“When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life,” vice president of streams, photos and sharing Bradley Horowitz said in a blog post.

“While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink.”

Google+ launched four years ago as a social network that could provide users a single identity to use across the California-based Internet firm’s popular online services.

“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier,” Horowitz said.

“But, we also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.”

YouTube will be among the first products to uncouple itself from Google+ profiles.

Google has slowly been backing away from linking services to the social network.

Google recently moved popular picture handling features into a separate Google Photos apps for mobile devices, and said it is putting location sharing into other applications such as Hangouts “where it really belongs.”

Horowitz said Google+ will live on in a more focused form, with enhancements including a “Collections” feature for organizing posts by topic.

Google+ launched in June of 2011 in a challenge to Facebook, but still has a small fraction of its rival’s huge user base. -AFP

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Google throttles back vision for its social network

by Zohaib Kazmi