After two years of foisting Google+ on new Gmail users, Google has finally provided an option not to join its would-be rival to Facebook.
Since 2012, anyone who signed up to Gmail would automatically get a Google+ profile, helping populate the then six-month old 'circle'-centric social network.
Now, new Gmail users can simply opt out of the mandatory Google+ sign-up by clicking "no thanks" during the process. They will, however, still get the option to sign up to Google+ when signing up to Gmail.
According to Google, the company removed the requirement from the Gmail sign-up earlier this month.
"Google 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)," the company said in an emailed statement.
The tweak to Google+ and Gmail integration follow a number of changes the company has made since the former head of its social efforts Vic Gundotrain April.
Google has courted controversy with many of its Google+ integration projects, some of which it has back-pedalled on in recent months — such as.
Another that it's only partially dealt with includes YouTube users manage offensive comments.. In January, it offered YouTube posters a "fast tracked" set of tools for YouTubers to
While some have had a dim view of Google+, Google's social network has given birth to popular products, including Hangouts, which it spun out from Google+ this July. Previously, Hangouts required a Google+ account, but the change meant that all Google Apps customers could also use it.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported in August that Google was working to similarly untangle Photos from Google+.
Despite rumours following Gundotra's departure that Google was planning to let Google+ go the way of the Google RSS Reader, Google this month acquired polling startup, suggesting it still has plans for the product.