Google has been disentangling their services from Google+ for a while now, pulling back the requirement to have a Google+ account to post on YouTube was one of the most notable. For Android users now there’s been more movement with Google apparently removing the +1 button on Play store entries, as well as allowing users without a Google+ account to post reviews.
The changes were first noted by Android Police, who have confirmed it with several users, but it’s not being seen everywhere. One of my spare Gmail accounts had a Google+ account, which I deleted to test out the function. The changes appear to be in place on mobile, with no ‘+1’ button available, and I was able to post a review on an app. On the desktop however, both the +1 button was still present, and I was unable to post a review of an app, with Google Play advising:
Google+ is still a relevant part of Google’s services, though not nearly as popular as Google once thought it would be. VP, Photos and Streams at Google, Bradley Horowitz has pivoted the service to focus more on communities in the past year, one of the more compelling features of Google+.
There hasn’t been a great deal of love in the broader community for Google+ and since the departure of Google+ champion Vic Gundotra, it’s not surprising to see Google decoupling even more services from Google+.
If you’re not a fan of Google+, then it looks like you should be able to remove your Google+ account soon and still be able to post reviews on Google+ soon.