Social Media

Look who’s admitting that Google+ is ‘confusing’

A minus for Google+
A minus for Google+

Google has halted its pursuit of making Google+ a rival to Facebook with the search giant even admitting that the social service was a little "confusing" for users.

In a blog post on Monday, Bradley Horowitz who took over the helm at Google+ a few months ago, said that the service started out with the intention of being a "platform layer that unified Google's sharing models".

"This was a well-intentioned goal, but as realized it led to some product experiences that users sometimes found confusing," Horowitz added.

The Google Plus (G+, or Google +) social network logo.
Adam Berry | Getty Images

Among the most "controversial" aspects was the integration with YouTube which meant users had to have a Google+ account in order to leave a comment on a video. Google also required users to have a Google+ profile in order to access some of the search giant's other services.

But Google confirmed that this would no longer be the case and users would only need a standard Google account to access all of the company's services.

"We want to formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google… other than using Google+ itself," Horowitz said.

Google+ has failed to gain traction as a serious contender in the social media space. Analysts said that the service failed to carve out its own distinctive purpose.

"Unlike other social media services which have their niches, Google+ was seen as a direct competitor to Facebook, but it was difficult to compete against the large networked competitor in this business and that was its biggest hurdle," Richard Broughton, research director at Ampere Analysis, told CNBC by phone.

Google is not shutting its social media service down completely but said it is becoming "more focused". It recently launched a feature on Google+ called Collections which lets users create pages around specific topics.

The U.S. technology giant also launched a new photo app that allows people to share pictures without the need for a Google+ account, while other services like sharing your location will be moved to Google's chat app known as Hangouts.

"We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+," the company said in a blog post.