Google Ends Forced G+ Integration. So…What Does This Mean?


Google has been slowly moving itself away from Google+, its failed social network, yet made a sudden announcement this week: Google+ forced integration with YouTube will no longer exist.

This is great news—especially for those who like to troll around in the comment section of YouTube. Trolls and the more polite among YouTube’s commenters alike were upset about the forced integration. What most news outlets seem to have missed, however, is that the move isn’t just limited to YouTube; it affects many of Google’s most used products.

Users don’t want one solution

This line from the Google+ blog stood out to me: “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.”

The issue here is that what Google was attempting to do made perfect sense. They could, in one swift policy change, stem the tide of comment trolling on YouTube and roll the millions of YouTube community members straight onto the Google+ rolls. The thing is, users are picky and attempting to create a one-off solution for a user base the size of Google’s can cause more problems than solutions.

Likewise, telling users they “have” to use your social network they were at best lukewarm to anyway isn’t going to please either the YouTube community or the Google+ community..

Marketers: prepare for a new level of trolling

Users don’t have to have a Google+ account to comment anymore.

I will repeat in bold: Users don’t need any credentials to make a comment on your content.

Google is claiming they have been able to reduce negative comments by 35%. That still leaves a lot of negative commenters hanging around, waiting to snipe at your YouTube channel. So, if you are actively creating branded content on the video sharing site, prepare yourself for some heavy moderating in the coming months.

Less really was more

In one sense, merging  Google+ profiles with Gmail and YouTube accounts was a good idea. It allowed users the ability to access whatever Google products they wanted to.

However, users that already had a Google account, most likely associated with Gmail or YouTube suddenly found themselves with a different type of Google account that made it simple for anyone to search and find— whether you wanted to be found or not.

For Marketers: One less channel to focus on

Google+ has been limping along for quite some time, in fact, too long. Yet, the search engine behemoth invested so heavily in Google+ integration across it product line, failure was not an option…until it was the only remaining option.

So, marketers, when you are asked, “Should we post things on Google+?” The smart answer is definitively, “No.” Thankfully, now we can all agree that we have one less channel to watch, monitor and analyze.

Conclusion : It’s Facebook vs. YouTube

So why did all of this happen how? One reason: Facebook.

Google (and pretty much every other outlet providing video) is feeling the Facebook pinch. The social network delivers more than 4 billion videos per day, and launched a revenue sharing scheme for creators, and started autoplaying videos in your Newsfeed. All to directly compete with YouTube. So, the less Google annoys people with Google+, the better off they are in their video battle with Facebook.

Also, the easier it will be for me to troll people on YouTube now. 


Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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