Google moves to decouple Google+ and YouTube

Following feedback from its users, Google+ is getting a makeover, with the search engine giant admitting that decisions it had made in the social networking space previously, were not necessarily the best, and it will start with decoupling YouTube comments.

Google's social networking platform Google+ is preparing to go through a number of feedback-based changes, starting with the removal of forced cross-platform posting between Google+ and YouTube.

The search engine giant announced that it was going to put "everything in its right place" in a blog post on Monday, admitting that past decisions were not necessarily the best.

"When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life," vice president of streams, photos, and sharing Bradley Horowitz said.

"While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we've needed to rethink."

Google admitted for many users, it was not ideal that their Google+ profile was used as an identity in all of the other Google platforms, with features such as cross-platform commenting gaining negative attention in the form of a 112,000 signature-strong petition against the practice.

YouTube said on its blog the forced linkage between Google+ and YouTube will no longer exist, with YouTube comments no longer broadcast on Google+.

"In the coming weeks, YouTube will no longer require a Google+ profile when you want to upload, comment, or create a channel. If you're happy with everything as it is now, then just keep on keepin' on," the company said.

The company has already removed the forced Google+ sign up upon registering for a standard Gmail account, opting instead for this to be a choice for new users.

Google has said that Google+ Collections has been added to allow users to share and compile posts organised by individualised topics, whilst some features that the company deemed as "unessential to an interest-based social experience" have been removed.

"We're well under way putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps, where it really belongs," Horowitz said.

Following on from its acquisition of photo backup and sharing smartphone app, Odysee, earlier this year, elements of Google+ Photos have also been moved into the Google Photos app.

With the changes to be rolled out in stages over several months, Horowitz said that proposed modifications will lead to a more focused, useful, and engaging Google+.

"While they [changes] won't happen overnight, they're right for Google's users -- both the people who are on Google+ every single day, and the people who aren't."