In our new feature Fact or Fiction we’ll discuss common confusions and set the record straight. For our first Fact or Fiction let’s explore a much debated question: Is Google+ necessary to sign up for YouTube?
And the Verdict Is…
This is a FACT! New YouTube users must now sign up for a Google account, rather than signing up with any email of their choice. This is a natural progression, considering Google owns both the social media and video sharing platforms. Though established YouTube users are not forced to create a new Google account as they are grandfathered in, they are given the option to integrate their account with their Google+ profile. Let’s take a look at some of the pluses and minuses of Google+ & YouTube Integration.
Pluses for YouTube & Google+
Easy Video Sharing:
Conjoining the two platforms allows Google+ users to easily share videos on their profiles or pages. Now when a user uploads a public video to YouTube it is automatically highlighted on their Google+ profiles. Though cutting out this step only saves a few minutes, a few minutes can make all the difference in the world to the busy small business owner.
This feature also makes it a snap for users to view all of the videos another user, brand, musician, etc. has uploaded right from their Google+ page by clicking the YouTube tab. Dom Carr from Google stated that this element was added for, “those of you who are aspiring musicians, pundits, comedians, or brands,” adding that they will have the ability to, “grow [their] audience even faster with Google+.”
Minuses for YouTube & Google+
May Alienate Users:
Any time you force users to “play by your rules,” in this case requiring a user to sign up for a Google account to upload YouTube videos, you run the risk of alienating them and ultimately causing them to opt out of your service. Though this is a smaller threat for Google considering their widespread market penetration, it is still something to consider.
Classification of “Active” Users:
Google+ has been proven to be an extremely attractive platform for marketers, not only for the boost in organic search results for content posted on the social media site, but also because it is now behind only Facebook in the number of active users with 343 million. However, we need to investigate how they are classifying “active” users. If these are people who’ve taken the time to add a profile and cover image, post page updates, and follow other users and brands, then Google+ retains its draw for marketers. If users who sign up for a Google account solely to upload and subscribe to YouTube videos, never venturing over to the world of Google+, are counted in that 343 million then we have to reassess the effectiveness of using the social platform to connect with a broad customer base.
As Google evolves we can expect them to continue to make all of the services that they offer as integrated as possible, not only to create a seamless user experience, but also to track users as they move from platform to platform. For now, the integration of YouTube and Google+ seems like a promising opportunity, but only time will tell if it will alienate users or prove to inflate the count of active users.