Google+ giving up battle to top Facebook

WASHINGTON — For all intents and purposes, Google+ has been dying as a social network for as long as it has been alive.

Google launched Google+ four years ago, in an attempt to compete against Facebook, Twitter, and other major social networks.

The goal at the time was to create a social network, in which people updated status, posted pictures, shared content, and integrated Google services.

What many found annoying was that users were required to have a Google+ account to interact with other Google services, which already required accounts.

In 2013. when Google imposed the requirement on YouTube viewers, who had posted freely for years, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim famously wrote “Why the <expletive> do I need a google+ account to comment on a video,” on his YouTube page, according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to a Google blog, Google+ is taking its hooks out of YouTube right away.

YouTube will no longer require a Google+ profile to upload, comment, or create a channel. Comments made on YouTube will only appear on that channel, instead of also on Google+, according to a YouTube blog.

There are steps some users will have to take, since according to Google, “on August 1st we’ll start to shut down Google+ Photos — initially on Android, and soon thereafter on the Web and iOS.”

Google says many users have already made the switch to Google Photos, after receiving prompts.

By switching to the Google Photos app, users will be able to backup, edit, and share photos and videos, with unlimited storage, and automatic organization.

According to Google, “If you don’t update to the new Google Photos, Google+ Photos on Android will soon stop working, but your photos and videos will still remain safely stored and available at its photo portal and for export using Google Takeout.

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