Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'

Miner sculpture

Google has quietly removed mandatory signups to its unloved "network thingy" Google+, which new Gmail users had been automatically shoved into when creating accounts on the ad giant's web-based email service.

The Chocolate Factory was criticised by former employee and Digg founder Kevin Rose in January this year for linking Google+ to Gmail accounts.

At the time, Rose - a serial Web 2.0 investor - said the strategy made zero sense.

"(My opinion) If Google+ users need to communicate build an internal messaging tool, connecting gmail doesn't make any sense ...", he said on Twitter.

It would seem Google is now listening to Rose, or, perhaps more likely, summoning the slow death of a service Mountain View has struggled to define.

The first clear sign that Google had lost faith in the product came when the man behind the service, Vic Gundotra, left the company in April.

The decision to stop forcing newbie Gmailers into Google+ was first spotted by the WordStream blog.

Google's more successful stab at a social network - Orkut - is being binned on 30 September.

Does this mean Mountain View has something new and ID-slurp-tastic in the works for its Google services? Vulture Weekend thinks so. As ever, wade in with your thoughts. ®

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