Long ago, Google required anyone who comments on YouTube to have a Google+ profile. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Now, Google is beginning the process of breaking YouTube -- as well as many of its other properties -- away from your Google+ profile.
In a blog post today, Google announced that it's going to spend the coming months removing your Google+ profile from products where it "doesn't make sense." The first of these changes will be YouTube. In a separate post on Google's YouTube blog, the company explains that starting today, the comments you make on YouTube will no longer show up on Google+ and (crucially) vice versa.
Of course, that's just the beginning. In the coming weeks, Google says it will remove other restrictions. In the future, you will no longer need a Google+ profile to upload videos, make comments, or create a channel. When this change eventually rolls out, you'll be able to remove your Google+ profile, though the company advises not to do so yet, as this will remove your YouTube channel.
As for the long-term, it's unclear what else Google will be removing Google+ profiles from. The company says it will allow you to "share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google." One of the other main complaints about Google+ profiles was that you couldn't leave reviews on places like the Play Store or Google Maps without one, but these aren't mentioned. Still, this is a step in the right direction.
Keeping the conversation going [YouTube Blog]
Everything in its right place [Google Blog]