Monday, June 16, 2014

Use Google+ without a Profile: manage Google+ Pages, YouTube channels and more

Mostly no problem anyway- read on for details
Since publishing this article in June 2014 the requirement for a Google+ Profile has been gradually removed from a number of Google products and services:
-  October 2014: Google Hangouts extension and apps no longer require a Google+ Profile.
-  March 2015: Google Hangouts no longer requires a Google+ Profile for sharing photos or group video calls
-  May 2015: Google Photos launches, no longer requires a Google+ Profile
-  July 2015: Google announces Google+ will eventually no longer be required for other Google products, including YouTube. 
- October 2015: New non-Google+ Google My Business  Pages dashboard introduced for managing Google+ Brand Pages and Locations
- November 2015: Google "About Me" page (aboutme.google.com) introduced, allowing you to manage your Google identity without a public profile
- November 2015: You can now create a new YouTube channel without Google+ and delete your Google+ Profile without affecting your channel
- February 2016: Google Play Games introduces Gamer IDs
- April 2016: Leaving a review for a business on Google no longer needs a Google+ Profile

Here are the current reasons to have a Google+ Profile (as of April 2016):
  • You use Google+ as a social platform with your personal identity
  • You want to leave comments on Blogger blogs (or other websites) using the Google+ comment system
  • You have a YouTube channel with your main Google account name, and you want to set a custom URL, be eligible for name verification, or get comment notifications under the bell 
  • You want to review an app, book or movie in the Google Play store
Here are the reasons to have a Google+ Page:
  • You use Google+ as a social platform with the identity of a brand, business or organization (anything other than an individual identity
  • You want to manage your local business on Google Maps - a Local Listing can be managed at Google My Business (business.google.com/manage/), but still exists as a Google+ Local Page
  • You have a YouTube channel that uses a business or brand name, or any name other than your personal Google account name
------------------------
It's not widely known, but you are not required to have a Google+ Profile to manage a Google+ Page or Page-connected YouTube channel. A Google+ account can manage up to 100 different Google+ Pages (each with its own YouTube channel), all without a Profile.

But what about other Google products and services? Some, like Hangouts, require a Google+ Profile to use all their features. Others, like Blogger, don't require a Google+ Profile at all.

This article will cover how to create a Google+ Page without a Profile, what happens if you delete your existing Profile, and using a Profile-less account on your mobile device.

Contents:

If you plan to delete your Google+ Profile, please start here to learn what will happen to your account.

All the information in this post should be accurate as of June 16, 2014. I will update the details as I learn of changes to products and apps. If you have any questions or notice incorrect information, please let me know!



Create a Google+ Business Page or Page-connected YouTube channel without a Google+ Profile

If you have created a Google account that does not have a Google+ Profile, you can still create a Google+ Page. There are three main ways to create a Google+ Page without a Profile:

  1. Create a new Page at business.google.com/create/brand
  2. Create a new Google+ Page along with a YouTube channel
  3. Create a new Google+ Page for your existing YouTube channel

Note that the instructions below are for a desktop computer. On Android devices Google+ Pages can also be created using the Google My Business app.

1. Create a new Google+ Local Business or Brand Page from Google My Business


If you do not yet have a Google+ account
, just go to plus.google.com/pages/create to set up a Google+ Page.
Update October 2015: How to create a new Google+ Page (no Google+ Profile required)

There are three types of Pages:

  • Local Businesses with a storefront and street address where you serve customers
  • Local Service Area Businesses, where you don't have a storefront, but you do serve customers in person. Some typical service area businesses are plumbers, taxis, caterers or consultants. 
  • Brands, which cover everything else: bands, shows, products, causes, organizations, exclusively online businesses and more

Once you have created a Google+ Page, signing in to Google+ should bring you directly to your Google+ Pages dashboard (plus.google.com/dashboard) new Google My Business pages dashboard (business.google.com/manage/)

If you have existing Google+ Pages you can create a new Page from inside Google+. Navigate to your main Pages dashboard by clicking the Pages icon in the left menu, or go directly to plus.google.com/dashboard the Google My Business pages dashboard (business.google.com/manage/)

Click the blue “Get your Page” button to start the Page creation process.

Click the + button at lower right 



Or select + Add a brand page or + Add a new Location in the left menu



More information: 



2. Create a new YouTube channel that uses a "Business or other name"


If you have a brand new YouTube account without a channel, the YouTube channel creation process allows you to select the option to create a channel using a "business or other name" rather than your personal name..

Sign in to YouTube (www.youtube.com), click the left menu icon then select “My Channel” from the menu. You will be prompted to create a new channel. 

At the bottom of the screen click Use a business or other name




If you have an existing YouTube account, you can go to "My Channels" (www.youtube.com/channel_switcher) and click + Create a new channel






You will then be prompted to create a Google+ Page for your YouTube channel. 



Note that this process only allows you to create a Google+ Brand Page. If you would rather have a Google+ Local Page connected to your YouTube channel:
Learn more in the YouTube help center: Create a new channel

3. Create a Google+ Page for your existing YouTube channel 


If you have a YouTube channel that is not yet connected to Google+, you can connect it to a Google+ Page from your channel's advanced account settings (www.youtube.com/account_advanced).

Click the blue button labeled "Connect with a Google+ Page" (if you don't see the button, your channel is likely already connected to Google+).




YouTube will ask for confirmation that you want to use "both names" - a different name for YouTube than you do on the rest of Google.



Learn more in the YouTube help center: Use a different name on YouTube than your Google account

What happens when you delete your existing Google+ Profile?

Can you delete an existing Google+ Profile and still use Google products and services? Yes you can! However, you may lose some features and functionality.

You can delete your personal Google+ Profile without affecting the Google+ Pages that you own or manage. You can keep using Gmail email as you normally do. However, if you use Google+ Photos, Hangouts, YouTube or Blogger,  read on to determine whether the changes in those products will affect you.

5 2 Reasons You Should Not Delete Your Google+ Profile

If any of the following apply to you, consider carefully before you delete your Google+ Profile:

  1.  You have made comments on YouTube videos or Blogger blogs using the Google+ comment system, and want to continue to comment using your real name 
  2. You use AutoBackup to upload photos from your mobile device (update 5/28/15)
  3. You like to share photos in Hangout chats (update 3/15)
  4. You want to use the iOS Google+ or Hangouts apps on your iPhone or iPad (update 9/10/14)
  5. You want to review local businesses or apps in the Google Play store using your real name. (update 4/8/16)

I strongly recommend trying to understand all the potential repercussions of deleting your Google+ Profile before you do so - some changes cannot be undone!

So what happens?


What happens when you delete your personal Google+ Profile:

  • All of your Google+ Profile's +1s, posts and comments will be permanently deleted
  • Your introduction, bragging rights, looking for, relationship status, and tagline will be deleted
  • Any details not in your Google account About Me page (aboutme.google.com) will be deleted
  • You will not be able to leave Google+ Local business reviews with your personal identity.  However, you can leave reviews using a Google+ Page identity.
  • Your existing Google+ Local reviews will not be deleted: They will be marked as private and accessible in the "My Places" section of Google Maps. You will be able to delete them there
  • You will not be able to leave Google Play store reviews or ratings with your personal identity.  However it is possible to sign into Google Play directly with a Google+ Page's username and password to rate apps.
  • Your connections to third-party services will be disabled. To manage them go to Connected accounts settings.



GMail and Account Details


Deleting your Google+ Profile should not affect your Gmail account. However, you will not be able to change some of your Profile details after deletion.


Managing Google+ Pages


October 2015: the new Google My Business dashboard launches for managing Google+ Brand Pages and Google+ Local Pages ("Locations"). Pages can be found at business.google.com/manage/ rather than plus.google.com/dashboard
November 2015: it's no longer necessary to have a Google+ Profile to accept an invitation to manage a Google+ Page.

You shouldn't have any trouble managing Google+ Pages without a Google+ Profile on your desktop computer (business.google.com/manage/)  or using the Google My Business App (iOS or Android) on your mobile device. However, there are limitations:
  • You cannot accept an invitation to manage a Google+ Page without a Google+ Profile. If you are invited to manage a Google+ Page, you will have to (temporarily) add a Google+ Profile to your account to accept the invitation. As of November 2015 you can accept the invite to manage a Page without a Profile.
  • You cannot use the iOS Google+ app without a Google+ Profile
    The free Google My Business app for iOS devices
    allows you to manage your Pages on your iPhone or iPad.

Google Photos, Google+ Photos and Picasa Web Albums


May 28, 2015: Google Photos launched, independent of Google+
May 1, 2016: Picasa Web Albums will be retired

Your Google+ Photos will be available in Google Photos, Google Drive and Picasa Web Albums, but you will no longer have access to Google+ Photo features.

November 2015: the album gallery page for Google+ Photos is no longer accessible and the new Google+ does not have a Photos tab

Google Photos can be accessed at photos.google.com and in the Google Photos mobile app
Picasa Web Albums can be accessed at https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos

Without a Google+ Profile:


Hangouts

A few Google Hangouts features require a Google+ Profile.

Without a Google+ Profile:

  • Access Hangouts at hangouts.google.com, in your Gmail account or using the Chrome Hangouts app or extension
  • You will no longer be able use the Chrome Hangouts extension on your desktop computer. Update 10/1/14: it is now possible to use the Chrome Hangouts extension without a Google+ Profile. A Google account is still required.
  • You will only be able to participate in 1:1 video calls, but not larger group video calls, using your personal Gmail identity. Update March 2015: now you can participate in group video calls with a Gmail identity. 
    You will be able to participate in group video calls using your Google+ Page identity.
  • In video calls you will not be able to use Hangouts Apps other than Chat and Screensharing
  • You cannot use the iOS Hangouts App without a Profile.
    However, you can use the Android Hangouts app
     or the iOS Hangouts App with any Google account, whether it has a Google+ Profile or not (updated 10/1/14)
  • You will not be able to share photos during Hangout chats on any device. As of March 2015 you can share photos in Hangouts chats with your non-Google+ Gmail account
  • Your Hangouts albums can be found in Picasa Web Albums (November 2015: Hangouts albums are no longer available in Google+ Photos)
  • You will not be able to host a Hangout on Air using your personal identity from a Google+ Event As of November 2015, you can host a Hangout on Air from YouTube Live Events without a Google+-connected channel
    .

YouTube 
  

As of November 2015, new YouTube channels are created without a Google+ Profile unless you use a business or other name (Google+ Page).

YouTube usually works just fine without a Google+ Profile. However, if you have been using YouTube with a Google+ Profile identity, there will be some significant changes upon deleting your Profile: 
  • All comments made on YouTube videos with your Google+ Profile identity (since November 2013) will be permanently deleted along with your Profile. This cannot be undone! 
  • If there is a YouTube channel connected to your Google+ Profile, deleting your Profile will make the connected channel become private. If you've done this by accident, it can be reversed by restoring your Google+ Profile.  Learn more here: YouTube Help: Google+ deletion or suspension
  • Any post you created on Google+ about one of your own videos will be deleted from Google+. If it is also visible on YouTube, it will continue to appear on YouTube.
  • Any comment you created on YouTube in response to a video, which is also visible on Google+ as a Google+ post, will still exist on YouTube but will be deleted from Google+.
  • Any comment you created on Google+ that is now only visible on YouTube, in relation to a post someone else made about a YouTube video, will still exist on YouTube.
  • Any +1 that you added on Google+ that is now only visible on YouTube as a like, in relation to a post someone else made about a YouTube video, will still exist on YouTube.
  • Any other posts, replies, comments or +1s relating to a YouTube video that you created originally on either Google+ or YouTube but which only now appear on Google+ will be deleted.
  • A Google+ Profile is required to get YouTube comment notifications under the bell and claim a new Custom URL

To use Google+ features on YouTube without a Google+ Profile,  move your channel to a Google+ Page.

A note about YouTube CMS: 

Access to the CMS interface is via the YouTube channel connected directly to the Google account linked to your CMS. That means your YouTube channel must either be connected to a Google+ Profile or be completely disconnected from Google+.

If your YouTube channel is currently connected to a Google+ Profile, you must disconnect your channel from Google+ before deleting your Profile or you will lose access to CMS. You also cannot move your channel to a Google+ Page, because that will also cause you to lose access to CMS. 
(Note: this may no longer be true as of November 2015)



Blogger blogs

If you use a regular Blogger profile, rather than having your blog connected to Google+, deleting your Google+ Profile should cause few changes. 
  • All of the Blogger blog comments you have posted using the Google+ comment system - on your own blog or other people's blogs - will be permanently deleted along with your Profile.
  • To use Google+ comments and other Google+ features on your Blogger blog, at least one blog author must be using a Google+ identity
    • You can use a Google+ Page identity for your blog if none of your blog’s authors have a Google+ Profile. Learn how to blog with your Google+ Page identity.
    • If you do not want to use Google+ comment system, you can disable Google+ comments in your blog's Google+ settings before deleting your Profile. Note that will make all Google+ comments disappear from your blog.
      Learn more here: Blogger Help: Google+ comment FAQ
  • When you upload images to your blog posts, your images are stored in a blog-specific album that can be accessed through Picasa web albums or Google+ PhotosGoogle+ Photos will be retired starting July 29, 2015. November 2015: your Blogger blog album is no longer accessible in Google+ Photos.
  • If you do not want your blog photos and images to be “Auto Enhanced”, be sure to turn off that option in your Google+ settings before deleting your Google+ Profile. (Google Photos are no longer auto-enhanced. 

Other Google Products and Services

In addition to what I've noted above, there may be other changes to your Google account when you delete your Google+ Profile.  You can learn more in the Google Help Center.

How to delete your Google+ Profile

So you are sure you want to delete your Google+ Profile. How do you do that? You can delete your Google+ Profile in either your Google+ Profile's Settings (plus.google.com/settings) or your Google account settings (myaccount.google.com)

How to delete your Google+ Profile in your Google+ Settings

  1. Sign in to Google+

  2. Open your Google+ Settings from the left menu (https://plus.google.com/settings)

  3. At the very bottom of the Settings page, click the link to

Delete your entire Google profile here.

  4.  You will then be shown whole page of information about what will happen when you delete your Google+ Profile.  Read it carefully!

  • At the top of the page it will show the email associated with your Google+ Profile. Make sure you are deleting the correct account!


  • Read all the details to be sure you understand the changes to your account.

How to delete your Google+ Profile in your Google account settings

1. Sign in to Google with the same email you use to sign in to Google+

2. Click your profile photo in the upper right corner of any page on Google



3. Click the blue "My Account" button, opening myaccount.google.com

4.  Under Account Preferences click Delete your account or services opening myaccount.google.com/preferences#deleteservices



5. Click Delete products



6. Enter your Google account password

7. Under Delete a Google service click the trash can next to Google+





8. Read all the displayed information, and click the box that you understand (and be sure you do)



9. Click Delete Google+

If you have any questions, ask for clarification in the Google+ Help Community!

Google+ on Android: Using the Google+, Google My Business and YouTube apps without a Profile

When you sign into a profile-free Google+ account on a desktop computer you will be redirected to plus.google.com/dashboard where you can select one of your Google+ Pages to manage.

It is slightly more involved to add your account to the current version of the Google+ app on an Android phone or tablet.

Add your account to the Google+ App

1. If you have not yet added your Google account to your device, you can do so by selecting "Add an account" in the Google+ app settings

2. You will be prompted to sign in to your Google account, using your email username and password. During the account addition process, you will be asked if you want to add a Google+ Profile - "Upgrade to Google+" - you can decline by clicking "Not now"

3. Return to the Google+ app and you will be prompted to select one of your account's Google+ Pages

4. You can add additional Google+ Pages that are managed by your account to the Google+ app by tapping your name at the top of the screen, then selecting "Switch Google+ page"

Note: earlier versions of the Google+ app may prompt you to create a Google+ Profile when trying to sign in. To fix this, update to the current version of the app (4.4.0 or later) or set a password for your Google+ Page and use that to sign into the app.

Learn more about Google+ for Android


Manage your Pages with the new Google My Business App

The  Google My Business app allows you to manage your Google+ Pages, add and remove managers, and see your Pages’ Insights . You can sign in to the app using any Google account on your device. Once you are signed in, you will have access to all of the Pages owned or managed by your account.

You can add a Google account to the app by tapping the menu icon on the upper right, then selecting “Accounts” from the menu.


Once a Google account has been added, switch between Page identities by tapping the menu icon on the upper left, then tapping the down arrow next to the current Page name. You can select a Page from the list of recent Pages, or tap “All Pages” to see all of the Pages you manage.

You can also create a new Google+ Page from inside the Google My Business App.

Learn more about how to edit your Page information and manage your Google+ Local Pages using the Google My Business app.









Sign into the Android YouTube app with your Google+ Page channel identity
(Updated July 2015)

Switching between different Google and channel identities in the YouTube app requires signing out then signing back in to the app:


1. Open your Account tab by tapping the person icon on the upper right

2.  Tap the down arrow to the right of your channel name

3.  Scroll through your signed-in accounts to find your channel - every identity for each account (Google+ Pages and Profiles) will by shown

If your account is not listed there, tap the + on the upper right to add a Google account.

4. Tap your channel

Learn more about the Youtube app for Android



Google+ on iOS: Profile Required

If have an iPhone, iPad or other iOS device, you cannot use the Google+ App without a Google+ Profile.  It is also not currently possible to sign in to a Google+ Page directly.

Learn more about Google+ for iOS

Learn about signing in and switching channel identities in Youtube app for iOS

Update June 24, 2014: The free Google My Business app for iOS devices allows you to manage your Pages on your iPhone or iPad. Learn more about Google My Business on mobile.

Add a Google+ Profile to your Account

If you do decide you want to have a Google+ Profile, it's easy to add one.

Simply sign in at plus.google.com/me and fill out the Google+ Profile creation form.

Just remember that your Google+ Profile must represent you as an individual, not your business, organization or brand.

Confused? Get Help!

If you have questions, check the Google help centers or post a question in one of the official Google help forums or communities:

Google+ Help CenterGoogle+ Help Community

Google My Business Help CenterGoogle and Your Business Help Forum


Acknowledgements

The information in this has come out of multiple discussions with my fellow Top Contributors, and much troubleshooting in the Google+ Help Community, and the Hangouts, Youtube and Blogger Help forums. Thanks especially to +Kaleh Kohler, +John Skeats, +Whiskey Schulze, +Pieter Roggemans, +Kamal Tailor, +Brian Kennelly, +Ziggy Dziegman, +David Kutcher, +Adam Auster, +Justin Lauschin, and +Luiz Fernando who made specific suggestions for changes and additions to my post and helped test various scenarios.

Posted by Peggy K

12 comments:

  1. I have a youtube channel that was named Karmic beats and the underlying handle was MrKlawdek I was incapacitated for two years and now I come back and find that I have two youtube channels One is the old one under Karmic Beats and it has no videos the new one is mrklawdek and it has no avatar. I seem to have two google+ profiles or pages (I don't know haw to tell the difference) One linked to each youtube channel. One of the pages was created recently I think by me when I accessed the mrklawdek (which is the new one they created and moved my stuff into)

    I would like to get my avatar and name onto the active channel without breaking any links to my stuff.

    Also did the change they made break all links to my channel I noticed a large decrease in views starting april 2013?

    I appreciate any help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karmic Beats: sorry it took me so long to get to your question. If www.youtube.com/user/mrklawdek is your channel, it looks like you have it sorted out, correct? Or is it still not set up the way you want?

      Delete
  2. Only one problem, or maybe more:

    Without a Profile and only a Page, I cannot follow other g+ profiles, or comment on sites with the g+ sign in option. And when I click Follow, it comes up with "Create a G+ profile" even though I have a page. Now, if I go ahead with this, there is every possibility I will lose my youtube channel with 400 subscribers and I'm not going to risk that.

    Another problem and here is the link to the vid I made today about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjUJp3cmZN0. No go with the new G+ Look.

    Also, today I discovered that when I go to my channel / Creator Studio / Overview / Advanced, the G+ page link under Account Information gets a "404 Not Found", and the "Channel's unique address" brings up a "Page Not Found. Crazy because yes, I do have a g+ page.

    Google is a joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ultramarine: you need to set a password for your Google+ Page, which has its own special Google account. You can do that starting from your YouTube channel's advanced settings (www.youtube.com/account_advanced). Once you are signed into the Page's special Google account directly, you can act with your Page identity anywhere on the web.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for your reply here and also for your help on my youtube channel. Really appreciate it :)

      Delete
  3. Hello peggyk, I always stumble upon your articles. They are very helpful, and I was wondering if you could get me out of a pickle. I have a google+ page; not a profile, nor do I want one. I have attached the page to my blogger account. Now whenever I try to log in, it asks for a google+ profile or a limited profile. How do I log in with a page? Thank you so much in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello peggyk, I always stumble upon your articles. They are very helpful, and I was wondering if you could get me out of a pickle. I have a google+ page; not a profile, nor do I want one. I have attached the page to my blogger account. Now whenever I try to log in, it asks for a google+ profile or a limited profile. How do I log in with a page? Thank you so much in advance.

    http://mountaintopchef.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi nadia: if you want to sign in as a Page, you need to set a password to sign in to the Page's special Google account directly. Here are instructions for setting a password for a Page: https://support.google.com/business/answer/4570250

      You will need to add the Page's username as an author or admin of your blog. It can either be the default @pages.plusgoogle.com username, or it can be a Gmail email you create for the Page.

      You can add the Page as an author in your blog's Settings > Basic > Permissions

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ava, don't claim the custom URL from your Profile! What I would recommend is sending feedback to Google+ from both your Profile's About tab and when acting as a Page manager, from your Page's About tab. Explain that you don't want the custom URL for your Profile, but do for your Page, and be sure to note that you are sending in that feedback signed in to both identities. There is a chance Google+ will then offer you the custom URL without a suffix for your Page.

      Note that the About tab is only available when viewing your profile in "Classic G+" interface. The feedback link is at the bottom of the left menu.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know of anything else you can do. The custom URL offer process is opaque, and it's pretty much "take it or leave it". Feedback is the only way to let Google+ know it's not the custom URL you want.

      (Glad you find the site helpful!)

      Delete