Google's free email service is great — tons of people use it. Google+ isn't nearly as popular, even though new Gmail users have been forced to connect to a Google+ account for years. Now, Google's making that social service integration optional. Finally.
WordStream noticed yesterday that new Gmail sign-ups are no longer required to connect a Google+ account to their email accounts — now, there's a "no thanks" button that wasn't there before. Google confirmed to Wordstream that the sign-up process was changed earlier this month.
While Google+ has some very handy uses outside of social networking, its popularity as a Facebook competitor never really got off the ground. Does this mean Google is gonna pull the plug on Google+? Vic Gundotra, the former president of Google's social network, stepped down in April, and the company has been consolidating some of its other social features.
Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens to Google+, now that it's no longer forcing every new Gmail sign-up to buy a house in the town. [Wordstream]