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G+ YouTube integration backfires for Google

Last week Google quietly released an update that essentially requires YouTube creators and commentors to access the platform through their Google+ account, whether they want to or not.

Since the release Google is discovering that despite its best efforts and considerable muscle, it cannot simply force users into using Google+

Social commentary

Users must now post comments on YouTube via their G+ Profile, which often displays their real name. Notifications are now delivered to the Google+, instead of the YouTube inbox.

The update also compels users to change their YouTube account name to their actual name.

Google is touting the move as a way to tame the largely unregulated, often defamatory comments on YouTube.

The idea is that by forcing users to post under their real names, more constructive comments (or at least less offensive ones) will result.

Privacy concerns

However things aren't that black and white. Under its new policy Google is treading into dicey privacy waters, which Instagram discovered can be incredibly damaging

The user backlash has been swift. UK musician Emma Blackery released a video criticising Google+ that has gone viral – amassing 700,000 views and 30,000 comments in two days.

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim has also publicly criticised the move.  

A tale of two platforms

In some ways, Google's social platforms are a case of Yin and Yang. Over the past eight years YouTube has grown to become the second largest search engine in the world and has over 1 billion active users.

Google+ on the other hand has failed to ignite the imagination of users, despite Google throwing considerable resources woo users.

There's nothing wrong with G+ and it has some genuinely useful features. But forcing consumers to use the platform was never a good idea.

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