New Gmail accounts no longer require Google+

— 3:35 PM on September 22, 2014

Looks like Google might be quietly sweeping Google+ under the rug. As WordStream reports, the company has removed the requirement that new Gmail subscribers tie their accounts to a Google+ profile.

The change in policy occurred with no fanfare—and no announcement on Google's blog. WordStream only received confirmation from Google after e-mailing the company. The response reads:

We updated the signup experience in early September. Users can now create a public profile during signup, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post).

This change comes less than five months after the departure of Vic Gundotra, whom TechCrunch described as the "father" of Google+. Gundotra announced his resignation as Google's VP of Social on April 24. (Thanks to Lifehacker for the link.)

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