The Last Reason to Have Google+ is Going Away
A good long while ago, after I was converting away from my Google “fanboyism” and coming into my present pro-Android but anti-Google stance, one of my frustrations was that so many Android services were tied into having not just a Google Account, but a Google+ account. As I was getting away from Google’s services as much as I could, getting away from Google+ was at the top of the list of things I didn’t need in my life.
But speaking of my life, as I say often here and through my other projects: I’m a gamer first and foremost. And so to have shared stats and shared save data between Android devices, I was required to use the Google Play Games app for any of that, and pretty much every game that has been released or updated since the implementing of the Google Play Games app has required it for logging into various services within the game itself. Long story short, the Google Play Games is required for a gamer that gets in any way serious on Android, and to use that apps services, you need to have a Google+ account.
Annoying as fuck. I know.
Fortunately, there is some good news coming down the pipe. Recently, Alphabet/Google has stated that they will no longer be requiring a Google+ account to to have a Google Play Games account. And they announced some other improvements overall with the Google Play Games app that are certainly welcome (making game sign-in more efficient, etc.). I couldn’t be happier about this since–for me, at least–I no longer have any real “need” to have a Google+ account and can just as quickly delete it from my Google Account.
Most people don’t realize that they can even do this, and this has been part of a larger trend on Alphabet/Google’s part. Up until recently, if you wanted to use YouTube, Hangouts, Google Photos, or Google Play Games, you had to have a Google+ account. None of this is true anymore. And when you’re creating (or already have) a Google Account, that means you don’t have to signup for a Gmail address, and now you no longer need a Google+ account to use anything within Google myriad services…unless you actually want to use Google+.
SIDE NOTE: Google Authorship used to be a popular aspect of Google+. It was a program that effectively gave you higher ranking in Google search results if you shared your content on Google+. This has also been removed as a part of Google+, but it does highlight what I consider to be the real purpose of Google+ (which I’ve discussed on my science and tech podcast, Sovryn Tech). Google+ was devised to beat Facebook at Facebook’s own “Graph Search game”. But since Facebook has largely failed at that, Google has largely dropped the necessity for Google+’s centrality to its services. Personally, I couldn’t be happier that both companies are failing at the Search game, overall.
Not to say I blame anyone for wanting to use Google+. Honestly, if you’re considering feature set and not the actual amount of people that use it, etc., Google+ is the best social media outlet out there. Again, I’m only speaking from a “feature set” perspective. Also, it’s the best at giving you the ability to handle trolling (a problem that has plagued Twitter for years). And with Google+’s recent revamping, the site and it’s mobile apps have becoming lightning fast, which addresses its long-time flaw of being very a very slow website/service next to the competition. And I’ll admit, the quality of the content that gets displayed on Google+ is amazing. I want to click on practically everything there, and I even find genuinely funny things. So Google+ is great for what it is, but it’s true, no one really uses it, and thus you don’t use it. That’s not something that would stop me from using a service, but the fact that it’s centrally tied to Google as a whole…yeah, that makes me not want to use it.
Giving more of my data to Google, and having a (let’s face it) completely unnecessary social media service just doesn’t blow up my skirt. And again, the only reason I was still using it was because it was needed for Android gaming purposes. That is no longer required, so now for me Google+ is no longer required (and believe me, I wish the Google Play Games app wasn’t required either).
Perhaps Google+ will go the way of Google’s previous social media site: Orkut. Though even that took years to shut down, even when people realized it was doomed. If we’re really lucky, perhaps we can delete the Google+ app from our Android devices, just as you can delete Google Keep and other nonsense non-essentials from Google.
But does this all mean I’m going to delete my Google+ account right away and stop sharing content from the ZOG Blog, Sovryn Tech, and the Dark Android Project on it? Not yet. I am a tech journalist, after all, and I’m curious just to see what else gets done with Google’s very different initiative for Google+. As exciting as it is to be able to remove as many services from my Google Account as I can that I just don’t use (Gmail, Google Photos, Google+), I’m still curious to see where this all goes.
But if you suddenly no longer see any posts from me there…well…don’t be too surprised.
DISCLAIMER: The ZOG Blog is the part of this site where Dr. Brian Sovryn can talk about anything. From pop culture, to philosophy, to just sharing updates with what’s going on at Zomia Offline Games and with other projects.