Google Removes Google+ Integration from the Play Store, Tests New Features
Google’s slow eradication of Google+ is continuing as the company removes the social network’s integration with the Play Store. Users can now post reviews without requiring a Google+ account, and the +1 button has disappeared.
Google confirmed the news in an email to TechCrunch that stated: “a G+ profile is no longer needed to post a review.” The roll-out started on Friday, so it should have reached most users by now.
Google began removing the requirement that people have a Google+ account to use the company’s products last year. One of the first services to be uncoupled was YouTube, which delinked Google+ from its comments section so those without a profile could leave messages.
“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier,” wrote Bradley Horowitz, Google VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing, in a blog post at the time. “But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.”
When it launched in June 2011, Google+ looked like it could be a success after attracting 20 million users in just three weeks. But it never came close to matching the user numbers of its rival – Facebook – and the network’s popularity quickly started to wane.
The situation wasn’t helped when creator Vic Gundotra left the company in 2014, but today there are still those who are loyal to Google+ and prefer it over Mark Zuckerberg’s behemoth.
Android Police reports that as well as removing Google+ integration, Google has begun testing a new addition the Play Store called Top Features, which lets users give feedback on specific elements of apps. Chase mobile’s Top Features, for example, include “tracking finances” and “managing credit cards.” It’s not available to everyone during this testing phase and it only appears for certain applications.