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Removing the last Google+ Features from YouTube: Private shares with G+ Circles, G+ links, Mobile app

With the shutdown of Google+ on the near horizon, YouTube has announced the last few Google+-related features will be removed in February 2019.  While YouTube's breakup from Google+ was mostly complete by 2016, there were a few remaining Google+-dependent features.
  • Google+ Circles will be removed from private video shares
  • The option to update your channel icon and cover art in the YouTube Mobile app will be removed
  • Links to Google+ profiles and pages on your channel's About tab and header will be removed
  • Pre-September 2016 versions of the YouTube mobile app will no longer be able to read or post comments
What will NOT change:

  • Your YouTube channel, your videos, comments and playlists will NOT be deleted
  • Your YouTube channel's Brand Account will NOT be deleted
  • Your verification badge from Google+ will NOT be removed

Watch the video for a quick overview.

 Related posts about the Google+ Shutdown:
Read on for details about the changes and a timeline of the integration - and dis-integration - of YouTube and Google+.

Google+ Circles will be removed from private video shares

The ability to share private YouTube videos with a Google+ Circle was removed in February 2016, but  videos shared with Circles prior to that change were not affected.

Now those Google+ Circles will be removed from the list of people with access to the private video, and the people in those Circles will no longer be able to view that video. 

You cannot update your channel icon and cover art in the YouTube mobile app

The ability to update your profile photo and channel's cover art in the mobile was apparently dependent on a system connected to Google+, so will no longer work.

Note that if your channel is on a Brand Account, you follow these steps:
1. in your mobile browser
2. Tap your YouTube channel name to open its Brand Account Details page
3. On the Details page tap "Edit account info"

That will open the "About Me" page for your channel's Brand Account, where you can update the profile photo.

Note that you cannot update channel art on the About Me page.

And you can, of course, still update your channel icon and cover art on a desktop computer

Google+ links on your YouTube channel's About tab will be removed

YouTube will no longer support linking to a Google+ profile or page on the About tab, and the link will also be removed from the channel's cover art banner.

You can still link to other sites.

You'll no longer be able to read or post comments in old versions of the YouTube app

If your version of the YouTube mobile app hasn't been updated since before September 2016, you will no longer be able to read or post comments.

You will need to either update the app, or use the YouTube mobile site ( in the browser on your device.

You can update your Google profile photo (which is used as your channel icon) at in the browser on your mobile device.

Learn more

Get more details in the YouTube Help Center: Changes to using YouTube with Google+
Questions? Post in the official YouTube Help Community

Timeline of YouTube-Google+ Integration

The integration process between YouTube and Google+ began in spring of 2012, but wasn't really complete until November 2013, when YouTube switched to Google+ commenting. The process was complicated and confusing, and alienated a lot of users.

Clearing up some of that confusion is why I started this blog in 2013.

When it was announced in July 2015 that Google+ would no longer be the social layer across Google, YouTube fairly quickly started the disconnection process, and it was possible to create a new channel - and comment - without Google+ within just a few months. Since then, the few remaining Google+-related features have been slowly removed. And now they are gone.


  1. Thanks Peggy - really enjoyed the timeline!

    1. It just goes to show how time flies, doesn't it?

  2. Is there any situation where YouTube videos would be removed because of being connected to a Google+ account?

    1. Chris: no, YouTube accounts will not be affected by the shutdown of consumer Google+. YouTube has been disconnected from Google+ for a long while.


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