Over a year ago, Google announced that it would start requiring all people signing up for YouTube usernames to have a Google account. Now they're going to start requiring all users of YouTube that signed up prior to that to connect their accounts to Google accounts as well.
Are you already part of Google's new social network? Share your thouhts here.
Here are the reasons Google gives for connecting YouTube accounts to Google accounts:
- Improved account security. The Google Account system is robust and will help reduce spam across the site; users will get a slew of security and safety features that Google has spent the past decade developing.
- A single account system. This may not mean much to anyone outside of the YouTube engineering team, but behind the scenes it’s extremely complicated to support two different account systems. Having all users on the same account system not only simplifies matters, but more important, it makes it much easier to use Google technologies to keep the site running smoothly (over two billion views a day and counting), as well as introduce new functionality.
There has been a lot of talk about Google working on a new social network (often referred to as "Google Me"). We still don't know exactly what that's going to be all about, but when people assess the success/failure of Google's social media efforts, they often overlook that Google owns YouTube, which is essentially a giant social network (albeit one that revolves around video). Not everyone uses YouTube as a social network, but the more people that have Google accounts, the more people Google will be able to claim as part of its broader "social network".
As we have discussed numerous times, Google itself could really be seen as one giant social network, with different products representing different features. If you have a Google account, you are part of that social network, regardless of what "features" you may or may not use.
Do you think Google is using YouTube to bring its broader social network together? Comment here.