Google Separates YouTube from Google+, Refocuses Social Network

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - JANUARY 30:  A sign is posted on the exterior of Google headquarters on January 30, 2014 in Mountain View, California. Google reported a 17 percent rise in fourth quarter earnings with profits of $3.38 billion, or $9.90 a share compared to $2.9 billion, or $8.62 per share one year ago.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – JANUARY 30: A sign is posted on the exterior of Google headquarters on January 30, 2014 in Mountain View, California. Google reported a 17 percent rise in fourth quarter earnings with profits of $3.38 billion, or $9.90 a share compared to $2.9 billion, or $8.62 per share one year ago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google took a first step toward a major shift in its social strategy Monday by separating YouTubefrom Google+. The changes were announced on both the official YouTube and Google+ blogs, with the latter putting it this way:

“In the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change.”

Google directly tied YouTube to Google+ in September 2013, at the time requiring users to activate Google+ for their Google account and using their Google+ real names in comments. Starting a new channel also required a Google+ profile.

These requirements were meant to improve comment quality on YouTube, and promote Google+ itself, but were met by resistance by many of the site’s users. YouTube announced Monday that it will de-couple the two services in the coming months, while at the same time adding further tweaks to improve comments on YouTube.

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