Search enterprise Google has removed the obligation for users of its email service to create a Google+ account, acknowledging that some people have found it to be annoying and intrusive.
Google+ is the California-based company’s social network which also integrates many of the firm’s online tools, including Gmail. The firm has said that Google+ has accumulated over 300 million active users across the globe.
However, some have expressed their scepticism regarding the number, with those involved with the service claiming that to count as an active user, you only have to click on the notifications icon rather than navigating through the web pages.
The company has updated this requirement for the first time since 2012; it has added a ‘No thanks’ button when new users sign up to the Gmail service, meaning they can now opt out of having to create a corresponding social account.
A spokesperson told news suppliers that this change was implemented at the beginning of September and that users will still be able to sign up to the service at a later date, if they wish to share content such as a YouTube video or a Google+ post.
With the company – whose primary product is its search engine, a focus of many SEO specialists – removing this mandatory sign up, it would appear that it is taking a step back from the social network to concentrate on other projects.
At one point, Google+ was claimed to be an upcoming rival to both Facebook and Twitter.