There’s No Avoiding Google+
Whether you like it or not, Google+ is happening. It’s a requirement if you use any of Google’s services. The controversial tactic is part of a larger plan from Google CEO Larry Page to get people to use Google+ by setting up people who create an account to use Gmail, YouTube and other Google services with a public Google+ page that can be viewed by anyone online.
Facebook and Google make most of their revenue from selling ads, but Facebook has the advantage of being able to tie people’s online activities to their real names – and it knows who those people’s friends are. According to The Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati, “Marketers say Google has told them that closer integration of Google+ across its many properties will allow Google to obtain this kind of information and target people with more relevant (and therefore, more profitable) ads.”
But does that integration reach too far into users’ personal lives? Efrati’s article describes Sam Ford, a 26-year-old Navy petty officer, who signed up for Google+ on his smartphone because he could automatically upload new photos to a private Google+ folder. Later, Ford was “surprised to see that his Google+ profile page – which includes his name – was tied to a software review that he wrote recently on the Google Play online store.”
Forced product integration on this level might be one of the reasons why Google can report 105 million unique monthly visitors, and Google executives say more integration is coming. “Google+ is Google,” says Vice President Bradley Horowitz in Efrati’s article. “The entry point sot Google+ are many, and the integrations are more every day.”
People are split on the issue; it seems controversial, but it might be the best way to make Google+ relevant when Facebook continues to be the dominant social network, especially since integration has helped increase Google+ usage.
“Google last month said 235 million people used Google+ features – such as clicking on a ‘+1’ button, similar to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button – across Google’s sites, up from 150 million in late June.”
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.