UPDATE: Reports of the death of Google+ may have been premature. See http://www.seroundtable.com/google-sticking-around-18465.html. There are now all sorts of stories and rumours doing the rounds so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Well, here’s a turn up for the books. It seems that Google may no longer force us to create Google+ accounts if we want to use certain Google services such as managing videos on YouTube. The full story is at http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/04/report-google-to-end-forced-g-integration-drastically-cut-division-resources/. This is a major change in Google’s approach to Google+ and will be welcomed by many people, including myself.
I have several Google accounts used for different purposes. I set up the first in the very early days of Google -long before even Gmail arrived on the scene – in order to manage analytics and what I then called “serious stuff” related to my business website. I subsequently used it for managing my YouTube videos. I set up a second account when Google Labs and Gmail came along and regarded that as my experimental acccount. Gradually, I used the second one more and more as my main account but kept the first for my business website applications. When Google+ came along I “upgraded” the second account and set up a profile.
Everything was fine until one day I tried to access my YouTube videos that were linked to my first, non-Google+ account. YouTube encouraged me to set up a Google+ profile for this account but I declined. YouTube responded by making my videos invisible to everyone, including myself! So I gave in and set up a second Google+ profile.
If only that had been the end of it. People started adding this new profile to their circles rather than my main one. I tried to find ways around this but in the end decided to just abandon the YouTube videos and delete the superfluous Google+ profile. It is easily done via your Google+ settings page but of course there are numerous dire warnings of all the wonderful things that you will no longer be able to enjoy (not a lot actually!). Despite what has been implied in the past deleting or what Google calls “downgrading” your Google+ account does NOT delete your ordinary Google account.
Do read the ars technica article mentioned above and also Google+ Is Walking Dead | TechCrunch. Both make an interesting read.