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I just noticed a side-ribbon flyout of YouTube that, when the logo is clicked, expands to ask "What would you like to play?" I don't recall adding any extension to Google+ or Chrome that would add this. What is it for? Can it be removed?

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This is Google shipping Google in your Google.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/shipping-google-in-google.html

Similar to the Facebook inspired Ticker meme

yo dawg, i heard you like facebook so we put a facebook in your facebook so you can facebook while you facebook

Or as Google puts it,

We wanted to bring YouTube directly into Google+—as well as make it easier to watch and share your favorites—so we're launching a YouTube "slider" in the stream.

I am afraid there is no way to prevent/remove it that I am aware of, I will look out for extensions in the meantime.

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