×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Google Separates YouTube from Google+, Refocuses Social Network

Google took a first step toward a major shift in its social strategy Monday by separating YouTube from Google+. The changes were announced on both the official YouTube and Google+ blogs, with the latter putting it this way:

“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. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change.”

Google directly tied YouTube to Google+ in September 2013, at the time requiring users to activate Google+ for their Google account and using their Google+ real names in comments. Starting a new channel also required a Google+ profile.

These requirements were meant to improve comment quality on YouTube, and promote Google+ itself, but were met by resistance by many of the site’s users. YouTube announced Monday that it will de-couple the two services in the coming months, while at the same time adding further tweaks to improve comments on YouTube.

Separating YouTube from Google+ seems to be just one step toward a bigger attempt to refocus the social-media network. Last month, Google launched Google Photos as a stand-alone product to replace the Google+ photos section.

Google+ VP Bradley Horowitz wrote Monday that the company will spin out other features, including location sharing, in the near future. “We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+,” he said.

This is a remarkable turnabout for the company, which long envisioned Google+ as a social layer across all of its products. However, that approach also made it a lot harder to understand what Google+ actually was about. What’s more, Google’s requirement to register for Google+ accounts led to many users signing up for it, but never actually using any of its features.

Horowitz acknowledged as much Monday. “For people who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use Google+ itself, we’ll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles,” he said.

Google’s attempt at building a social network to compete with Facebook and Twitter have long been ridiculed by critics, with some calling Google+ a “ghost town.” However, while Google+ is clearly not as popular as Facebook, it did manage to attract a number of very engaged communities. Horowitz promised these users Monday that Google is not giving up on them: “We’re continuing to add new features” to Google+, he said.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Instagram

    Instagram Testing Hidden Like Counts Globally

    Like counts will be disappearing from Instagram all over the world starting this week: The Facebook-owned photo sharing service is extending its test of hiding like counts to all of its territories, Techcrunch was first to report Thursday morning. Instagram began hiding like counts for a subset of its users in Canada this spring, and [...]

  • Ted Sarandos - Netflix

    Ted Sarandos Says Disney Plus Launch Changes 'Nothing' for Netflix

    Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos claims he’s not getting distracted by huge competitors — like Disney — rumbling into the company’s streaming turf. The exec was asked what has changed for Netflix with the Nov. 12 launch of Disney Plus, which the Mouse House boasted as having signed up over 10 million users so [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    Game Awards 2019 to Play on 53 Cinemark Screens Alongside 'Jumanji: The Next Level'

    This year’s Game Awards, recognizing the top video games, creators and esports of 2019, is coming to the silver screen. In a three-way partnership, the Game Awards, Cinemark Theatres and Sony Pictures are teaming on a superticket program pairing the Dec. 12 live simulcast of the 2019 Game Awards in 53 Cinemark locations with a [...]

  • Lilly Burns Tony Hernandez

    Jax Media Soars by Amplifying Unique Voices of Auteur TV

    Jax Media has emerged during the past few years as one of television’s busiest and buzziest production companies. The New York-based company headed by four partners — Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, John Skidmore and Brooke Posch — has an enviable track record of scouting new voices and executing stylish shows on a less-than-stratospheric budgets. The [...]

  • Variety Digital New Leaders

    Execs From Endeavor Audio, Group Nine Among Those Leading the Way in Digital

    Every year, Variety seeks to identify the next generation of leaders in the entertainment business, looking for representatives in the creative community, film, TV, music and digital. This year’s group has a heavy New York focus: We selected executives from forward thinking companies such as Spotify, Group Nine and Endeavor Audio, as well as writers [...]

  • John Carmack John Carmack, Chief Technical

    Oculus CTO John Carmack to Step Down

    One of the driving forces behind Facebook’s virtual reality efforts is leaving his post: Oculus CTO John Carmack announced Wednesday afternoon that he was transitioning to a “consulting CTO” role this week, and devote most of his time to new challenges outside of the company. “I will still have a voice in the development work, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content