Over on its official blog, Google tells that it is planning changes in relation to Google+. The company has divided this into two phases: tightening its focus on the platform itself and removing Google+ integration from its other services.
For the first phase, it is removing features it believes “aren’t essential to an interest-based social experience out of Google+.” Google+ Photos is one such an example. Many of its features already have been moved to Google Photos. In addition, Hangouts and other apps will receive location sharing.
As for the second phase, the company explains that it has heard the criticism of users not wanting their Google+ profile to be their identity for all other services.
The biggest outcry in relation to this potentially came from YouTube users whom, for whatever reasons, did not want to use their real names on that platform. Google gave them the ability to use aliases and nicknames at a later time, but a Google+ page still was associated with that account’s name. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that YouTube will be one of the first products to remove this integration.
Google stresses that the accounts tied to its services will remain unsearchable and cannot be followed.
Lastly, these changes will be released in set stages over the next several months.
Source: Google’s Official Blog