Mandatory Google+ Gmail Integration Quietly Shelved

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Google has gone to valiant lengths to convince us that rumors of Google+’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, but Google is no longer forcing new Gmail users to connect their account to a Google+ profile – yet another move that could signal the end for Google’s troubled social network.

gmail google plus integration

Rumors of the decoupling of Google+ and Gmail first surfaced in the spring. Google, unsurprisingly, hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to shout about the change from the rooftops, instead choosing to quietly shelve the mandatory integration which had previously been in place since 2012.

Although the change means that new Gmail users will no longer be forced to sign up for Google+, they’ll still have the option to do so, as you can see in the image above.

Gundotra’s sudden departure from Mountain View sparked rumors and intense speculation about the future (and imminent demise) of Google’s social network, which execs at Google were quick to deny. However, the decision to backpedal on a key component of Google’s growth strategy for Google+ suggests, at best, that they’ve figured out users wanted to make that decision for themselves. At worst, it’s another sign that Google+ as we know it is on the chopping block.

Of course, the mandatory Google+ Gmail integration wasn’t the first time that Google incurred the wrath of users. There was the time Google killed its RSS reader, which had a small but fiercely loyal fanbase. And when Google announced that YouTube users would need a Google+ profile to access the platform, the site’s considerable user base was outraged. To add insult to injury, it later came to light that the forced integration of Google+ and YouTube actually resulted in significantly more spam comments, trolling, and some imaginative uses of ASCII art. Perhaps having learned a valuable lesson in keeping the peace, Google may be taking steps to make its Google+ integration less Draconian.

What do you think of Google’s decision? Let me know in the comments.

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Update: Friday, 5:48PM EST - An official google spokesperson has confirmed the changes to me via email, stating: "We updated the signup experience in early September. Users can now create a public profile during signup, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post)."

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Comments

Anonymous
Sep 19, 2014

This is stupid u bitches

Elisa Gabbert
Sep 19, 2014

Err ... big G+ fan??

Anonymous
Sep 19, 2014

This is the greatest news!  I hate Google+.  When does it take effect?

Anonymous
Sep 25, 2014

So who dose that work

analyst1
Oct 04, 2014

For the upteenth million time, when signing on to gmail,  I have to remove the check box mark that says "remember me on this computer".  And they talk of  Artificial Intelligence being capable to learn by the learning curve.  When will Google notice my decades of aggravation?

analyst1
Oct 04, 2014

Hey Google, follow the lead of FireFox not Microsoft.

analyst1
Oct 04, 2014

Previously Google was as annoying as Microsoft.  Both persistently aggravated the user to take a plunge into 'unliked' territory.I believe they  have grown up.  They are now mature.  Are they? Hopefully. 

Val Popescu
Oct 02, 2014

To be honest Larry, I had enough with Google. I can't remember how many services they shut down over the years. Not to mention the changes to their local service. At some point, G+ will be down as they admit (somehow) they fail with social marketing. It will be fun to see if Facebook will succeed as search engine...

Gabz
Sep 24, 2014

This is great news! I won't be heartbroken to see the end of Google and Gmail.They've treated users with utter contempt over the last few years, so they deserve to be abandoned.I will be purchasing a StartMail account from Mozilla when it's released to the public (hopefully) later this year, and I already use theirStartPage for all of my internet needs.No one needs a dictatorship like Google and Gmail anymore. In fact, people have had enough of that crap. 

Terry Van HorneAnonymous
Sep 24, 2014

I agree with Mark anyone who thinks G+ is going the way of the dodo is not very observant of the seemingly daily changes to Hangouts and HOA's and the fact that there are posts in the SERPs. Those who must get clicks to their blog write stories based totally on conjecture presented as fact without stating that is the case. This is pure specualtion based on wonky poorly researched facts! That the person whio brings this FACT to light is treated like this.... says lots about those doing the pushback!

Scott McKirahan
Sep 23, 2014

Although I'm a big user and advocate of Google+, I'm with you, Larry, and think it is one of many signals that Google may have decided far too much time and energy has been sunken into a product that has little chance of overtaking Facebook. We'll see who's right here, but my money is on yet another Google project being ditched here.

Gata
Sep 22, 2014

But you still probably need a Google + account to access Market Play.

VotYouVant
Oct 24, 2014

I hate Google+ with all of my heart. Kill it, please. Kill it now, and kill it fast.

NeoGoogleHater2013
Oct 18, 2014

If they hadn't pulled that crap in the first place,  I'd still have a Gmail & Youtube account.If thye cut the BS, I'll sign back up.F google. I use to like google, NOW I HATE THEIR ASS!!!I hope Google crashes & burns. That somebody that doesn't get to big for their britches,or take their users for granted, takes their place.All the headaches & loss those jerks caused with their forced integration.Google, You guys SUCK.

Anonymous
Oct 08, 2014

Will they be decopuling youtube from g+ so youtube users can again post comments without having to sign up for g+?

Ruden
Sep 22, 2014

I am still wondering when hangouts will let those with out google plus accounts send pictures via hangouts.they now let non google plus users do group  video chats, thats one step.. but send pictures.. nope. 

Ana
Sep 22, 2014

Personally I like the implementation of this change in the signup process; however, from a speculative point of view, I do not think it means anything regarding the Google+ fate.

Ruden
Sep 22, 2014

you have always been able to access the play market with out a gplus acount, you just cant rate or leave comments.ive not rated a single app since thats happened.

David
Dec 26, 2014

I agree, I also haven't rated a single app since Google decided to want to tell everyone, that you know that has a Google Plus account, what you thought of the app.
Google seems to think that everyone that you're connected to, via a Google+ account, should know just about everything about you. Maybe I just want to rate an Android app so that I can make the company aware how I feel about the app. Or maybe I want to rate a book I bought from the Google Play Store so I can tell other potential buyers what I thought. But maybe I don't want all of my friends on Google+ to know that I even bought the book let alone how I feel about it. But Google has different ideas.
Funny how people on this forum love to rip Microsoft, atleast Microsoft doesn't have this overwhelming desire to share your s*** with the entire world. There's an old saying, follow the money. Google's marketing business model is starting to overtake they're famous tagline - don't be Evil. The more Google shares your information, the more money they make - until people start to leave in droves.

I once loved this company - Google. No more!

Anonymous
Oct 04, 2014

Oh LoL. That one was good xD

Stig
Sep 19, 2014

Do existing users have the option to decouple it?   I'd shelf it in one second flat.  And my youtube login.   Bastards just want to snoop, collect info and hit you with stupid offers that are related to private conversations you were having in email with someone.   For example, I'm talking golf with my dad in an email......30 seconds later I'm getting golf ads in my inbox. It's no wonder people are pissed off.   I want my privacy back.

Elisa Gabbert
Sep 19, 2014

I tried out G+ for a while but the primary reason I deleted my account was because I didn't like the way it was screwing with my Gmail. Good riddance I say.

Stug
Sep 19, 2014

You act like gmail is your God-given birthright.  Google doesn't owe you squat just because you avail yourself of their free platform.  Move on if you don't like what they're selling.

Anonymous
Sep 19, 2014

This^^^^^ and it's even more nefarious than that. I came very close to ditching my email account, and I barely use youtube anymore. They are killing their platforms. I can live without them

Mark Traphagen
Sep 19, 2014

I continue to be surprised that you drink the Google+ is dead kool aid, Larry Kim. Is Google pulling back from forcing everyone using Google to have a Google+ account? Yes, and I predicted that they would. It's a huge leap from there to they are killing it. They continue to innovate the network, they are investing resources into it. I have personal knowledge of things I can't talk about, but trust me, it is FAR from dead or on the chopping block. What HAS changed is that Google a) Got a huge number of people to sign up for Google+ accounts. Anyone who understands how G+ functions within Google knows that that was a huge plus for them, and Google doesn't need those people using the social network to benefit from it. What Google has learned is that forcing people to upgrade to G+ slows the growth of other products, so they are pulling back from that requirement. But, and this is a big but, people who don't upgrade to G+ will find themselves limited in how much of those services they can use. For example, while people can participate in a Hangout On Air now with just a Google account (non-G+), they cannot start an HOA unless they have one. For power users, there will still be incentives to upgrade.

Mark Traphagen
Sep 19, 2014

Just confirmed to me by a Google+ Top Contributor: Google+ has not been "decoupled" from Gmail. No one was EVER forced to upgrade to Google+. what has changed is that they've made the bypass easier to see than it used to be. But it was ALWAYS possible to sign up for Gmail without upgrading to Google+. That's a glaring factual error in your post Larry Kim and you should correct it.

Elisa Gabbert
Sep 19, 2014

Mark, this was all reported on way back in 2012. See here (Time) and here (Marketing Land). Do you have a link or screenshot indicating otherwise?

Larry Kim
Sep 19, 2014

an official google spokesperson has confirmed the change to me. i've updated the post.

Mark Traphagen
Sep 19, 2014

Larry, read your update! The signup experience was changed. Larry read your update! The signup experience was changed. That's exactly what I said. The experience (presentation) was  updated. But it did not change that it was possible before then to sign up for Gmail without Google+.  For pete's sake,I have about 30 gmail accounts I created over the past three years that have no Google+ connection.

Anonymous
Sep 22, 2014

WOW, make yourself sound like a Google employee more why don't you? I hated the constant harrassment to "upgrade", so I tried +, hated it, then I couldn't decouple + from my account. I'm so glad its gone. You seem way too pissed about a supposed error in a rather meaningless article on the internet. Larry doesn't owe you jack shit buddy, deal with it, he has no time for whiney twats like you.

Anonymous
Sep 19, 2014

Google is part of the Govrment, they get paid to snoop, they are just like the CIA but Nerdier.

Phil Nolan
Sep 21, 2014

This was never required. Articles like this do nothing but bring up hate for the second most popular social network

David Chevalier
Sep 21, 2014

Larry, I seems like the people who've really got something to lose defend Google+ and the people who don't, don't. Do you agree? - David

Larry Kim
Sep 21, 2014

just my opinion here. the g+ fans seem rather defensive. Understandibly though, since they probably invested a ton of time over the last 4 years to build up their profiles there. sad to see everything fall apart like this in just a few months.

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