By Evan DeSimone
After nearly two years of forcing users to take them as a package deal, Google is finally severing the tie between YouTube and it’s nascent social network Google+, the tech giant announced today via a blog post.
In what was described at the time as an effort to curb the famously abusive anonymous comments that plague YouTube’s comments section, the two services were linked by Google in 2013, so anyone wishing to post a comment on a YouTube video would need to first register a Google+ account. Google+’s more aggressive rules requiring the use of a real authenticated name would, in theory, curb trolling culture and make YouTube a more attractive platform for advertisers.
In July 2014, YouTube walked back their decision to outlaw anonymity following a drop off in commenter engagement and backlash from both the YouTube creator community and privacy advocates. Google revealed today that Google+ will be gradually uncoupled from all of its many services and that an account on the network will no longer be required share content or communicate with contacts. Google tacitly acknowledge that YouTube was among the unpopular integration’s biggest friction points with the decision that the video sharing site would be the first service to be freed of its Google+ requirements.