Google IO 2013 - Google Plus Update - Stream - 001

When creating a new account with Google (whether for Gmail, Google Docs or any other Google account), the search giant no longer requires users to sign up for Google+. Before, users were ushered down a linear path straight to Google's social network, but a new No Thanks button let's folks avoid this altogether.

What does this mean for Google? Well, the company's social network struggles have long been documented, so this could indicate Google is finally accepting Google+'s fate. Or perhaps there were just so many complaints from users that Google finally relented; it was never good practice to force users to sign up for something they would never use.

That doesn't mean Google+ doesn't have its charm or usefulness, but the strength of competing service's like Twitter and Facebook is just too much, and who wants to sign up for yet another social network anyway? Google has slowly moved away from propping Google+ up on the back of its other services, so it's unsurprising to see a similar move being made here.

Google's enthusiasm for Google+ has certainly waned over the past several months, causing many to question the service's future. The fact that people no longer need to signup could definitely lower engagement and usage, so we'll see how this pans out in the coming months.