Google begins removing Google+ integration from its services

Like so many weeds in my herb garden, Google+ has long been deeply rooted in many of Google's services. Now, just as I've weeded my herb garden, Google is disentangling Google+ from its other properties. In a blog post, vice president of Streams, Photos, and Sharing Bradley Horowitz says Google will make more changes to Google+ in an effort to improve the service. 

Horowitz says Google is responding to its users' complaints – it's "heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use." Google plans to break Google+ features out into several of its other apps, as well. Horowitz specifically mentioned the relocation of Google+ Photos into a new Google Photos service. Next up, location sharing services will move from G+ to Hangouts.

The YouTube team has also announced a welcome G+-related change: it's removing the choking vine of Google+ integration from the service, as well. A full Google+-ectomy of YouTube hasn't happened yet, though—that change is set to be completed "in the coming months," so don't go and remove your Google+ profile from YouTube just yet. If you remove your Google+ profile right now, the service will delete your channel, too. Wait until Google gives you the go-ahead here.

In an unrelated but equally welcome move, YouTube says it has improved the site's comment ranking system so that comments deemed junk are less visible. The new system appears to be working: YouTube says the rate of new dislikes on comments (an indirect measure of junk comments' visibility, apparently) has dropped by more than 35% across the site.

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