Back in July, Google famously reversed their decision to require YouTube commenters/posters to sign up for their fledgling social network, Google Plus. Today, the company introduced it’s revised version of Google+; one that looks a lot less like a social network, and more like a news & interests repository.
The relaunched Google Plus places the focus on two main sections, “Communities” and “Collections”—the former which are essentially groups of other Google Plus users with similar interests, while the latter bundles posts based on common themes.
Though Google+ once boasted a user count as high as 2.5 billion—which would make it the world’s largest social network, even ahead of Facebook—a report by Eric Enge back in April disclosed that over 90% of Google+ users had never made a single post on the network, and only 16 million publicly posted to Google+ each month.
Since launching Google Plus, the company has tried a variety of ways to integrate its version of a social network into the mainstream, including the YouTube profile connection, Google authorship in search results, and combining its photo-storing platform (Google Photos) into the product—all of which have either been discontinued entirely or moved on to become their own service.
While Google certainly gets credit for the attempt, I’m not sure this revised Google+ will catch on any more than the original social network did; though, at the very least, not making it a prerequisite for YouTube & other Google services should cut down on the backlash some.
Google+ users will need to opt-in to the new profile & setup for now, but it will be the default soon enough for all.