Google requires people to use Google+ social network, gains ground against Facebook

“Google Inc is challenging Facebook Inc. by using a controversial tactic: requiring people to use the Google+ social network,” Amir Efrati reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The result is that people who create an account to use Gmail, YouTube and other Google services—including the Zagat restaurant-review website—are also being set up with public Google+ pages that can be viewed by anyone online. Google+ is a Facebook rival and one of the company’s most important recent initiatives as it tries to snag more online advertising dollars.”

Efrati reports, “The impetus comes from the top. Google Chief Executive Larry Page has sought more aggressive measures to get people to use Google+, two people familiar with the matter say… Both Facebook and Google make the vast bulk of their revenue from selling ads. But Facebook has something Google wants: Facebook can tie people’s online activities to their real names, and it also knows who those people’s friends are. 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.”

“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,” Efrati reports. “Because using Google+ requires people to sign in to their Google accounts, Google will be able to blend mounds of data about individual users’ search habits and the websites they visit with their activities on Google+. That is a potential boon to Google’s ad business, from which the company derives about 95% of its more than $40 billion in annual revenue, excluding its new Motorola phone-making unit.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. It really is kinda scary. Forget about the “business” aspect of it. Both Facebook and Google are pushing things in a direction that is truly frighting privacy wise. I created fake accounts to log into sites that require Facebook logins, but it’s still creepy and disturbing.
    And now Google is doing this, and Google is also doing the bait and switch on may of their products, offering free goodies, getting hooked and market share and then expecting people roll over when they flip the script. I think this is also going on with the entire Android experience. Even with their hardware partners.

    Anyway, this just once again opens up a spot for a new upstart to come in, rinse and repeat.

    1. There’s always another option. Stop using social media. We did exist nicely before it came along. I know that teens and perhaps even twentysomethings find this impossible to believe but it’s true. I find it unnecessary and I am unwilling to give up even more of my privacy. Email and texting are consuming enough. It really is possible to cut back on these also. You won’t die. Honest. Think of the people that you respect in life the most. I’ll bet that they are not on Facebook or Twitter all day long. They probably don’t even participate.

        1. Forgot to mention: Cell phone free since I retired. There is nothing that demands my attention so immediately that can’t wait until I can answer the land line at home.

          And I still enjoy driving with a 5-speed stick shift. 🙂

      1. Delusion of having (many) friends, albeit in a virtual and impersonal world, is going to be a hard habbit to kick for the younger generation who’s character has not yet developed into a stable and assured personality.

        Given that there’s an endless flow of new kids on the net, I see these “social” network surviving even the most grossly invasive privacy abuses from the likes of Google ( weren’t they supposed not to be evil at some point).

      2. GM, obviously someone who doesn’t use such social media, and has no clue about how to use the with discretion.
        Oddly enough, virtually all of my closest friends and acquaintances are on Fb, it’s how we keep in touch regularly, most of the musicians I listen to are using Fb and Twitter in order to keep their fan base appraised of what they’re doing, because the record companies are only interested in promoting multi-million selling artists. So long as their latest dull, boring, cookie-cutter sells more millions to a non-discriminating mass of consumers.
        With Fb, in most instances, it’s the artist themselves who do the updates, which creates a much more personal connection to their fans who go to the gigs and buy the records, building long-term relationships that span years.
        But you aren’t bright enough to see the advantages, only the mass-media scare stories fed to you by huge conglomerates terrified of the loss of control they’re seeing every day in the music biz acquisitions they made when the public didn’t have the Internet, and could only source their music through limited outlets.

        1. I’m not in disagreement with your points but for me, socialization is conducted via email, telephone (voice, not text), and in person. I really don’t have time to follow people on Twitter or to tweet to the world whatever I’m doing every five minutes. I don’t have time to read everyone’s FB or to check out their photos.

          While my closest friends are those I see in person on a semi-regular basis (nothing will ever replace the corner bar or coffee shop for enjoying the human race), I’ve made good friends all over the globe who are developers of apps that I’ve begun using. It starts with a question about the app and develops into “where are located?” and “oh, have you heard about this?” and has become regular email correspondence. Personal correspondence, not mailshots of weekly personal “newsletters.”

          As always, YMMV! 🙂

    2. Google+ is the new Google. Google so far has been very good about making products, but not so great about making services. Facebook started as a service and added products to it. Google started with products and is now adding the service. There’s nothing scary about this. It makes stuff work better.

      What’s scary about this? That they might serve an ad to you? Oh the horror. 😛

    1. desperate times? desperate measures? $40 Billion (and growing) annual revenue is a desperate time? I don’t believe so.

      Apple was truly desperate for nearly 2 decades (80’s-90’s), and now they are crazy big. Google is fine. Apple is fine. Heck, even Microsoft is fine.

      One company that isn’t fine is Facebook. I use it tons, but yearn for my friends to use Google+ so I can stop with the “liking” business. Using FB just grates on my patience.

    1. I agree. I rarely use my gmail account but I think I will kill it. I am not a member of Facebook, nor Google +. I chose not to join for my own privacy reasons. Now if they force me, I will have to close my gmail account.

      Unfortunately, most people will probably just go with the flow, and accept the bait and switch.

      For now, I trust Apple.

      1. “Our highly-effective targeting can leverage demographic data, as well as unique interest and preference data that taps into user passions that are relevant for your brand.” —Apple

        Apple does the exact same thing that Google does. Nothing that impacts your privacy. They don’t sell your information. They sell advertising space.

        1. Interesting. That probably was issued during conversations about iAd, which doesn’t seem to have generated much buzz in the general public. As far as implementation, I haven’t seen Apple hit me with any ads outside of their iTunes and Apple store emails, which I DID voluntarily agree to accept. Using Moble Me or iCloud or any Apple service has meant that I have been free of the incessant data mining of Facebook and Google.

          While they admittedly have on record their positions about their marketing and advertising strategies, in practice they are far more restrained and far, far more mindful of their customer’s privacy and particularly their desire for privacy.

    1. What’s unethical about this? Facebook requires that you have a Facebook account to comment on things. Apple requires that you have an iTunes account to review music and such. Google+ is the new Google account. They’re making it the backbone service behind which all their products will be based on. This isn’t unethical. This is good organization.

    1. No. It’s like Microsoft requiring Windows users to use Windows. Google+ is the new Google. You don’t have to tell them anything about yourself to use Google products.

  2. This is why I will not get any type of account on Google or Facebook. Neither have any respect for a persons privacy. I only use web searching (Google, Yahoo or BIng) in Private Browsing mode.
    When people ask me why I don’t dump my cheap mobile phone for a cheap Android, kind of, smart phone, I respond, “Do you really trust Google with everything on your phone? I don’t and one day when I really need a smart phone I’ll get an iPhone because I trust Apple much more than I trust Google. As Apple doesn’t need my personal information to make money, Google does, it’s their business model. Google and Facebook con you out of your extremely valuable personal information and then they sell and use it to basically make money. In other words they are robbing you blind. You also need to consider the cost to you personally which is much, much more than you might think it is.”.

    Just saying that everyone should demand payment from companies profiting from the users personal information, the companies should be leasing the information from their users at a rate of $1,000.00 to $10,000.00 per month. Google and Facebook profit from their users personal information without paying fair and reasonable compensation to the users, sounds like the users are being treated as indentured servants to me and if I’m not wrong that is a crime in almost all free countries these days.

    Just repeat after me when you use these sites… MOO! MOO! it’s time for my milking… MOO! Because that all you are to them a heard of cows that they can Milk..

    1. “Because that all you are to them a heard of cows that they can Milk..”

      What’s this?!?!?! A business making money off of people?


    2. “con you out of your extremely valuable personal information and then they sell and use it to basically make money.”

      My real name is Levi Dettwyler, and I live in Oregon. You can reach me at levi.dettwyler at me or mailerdaemoncore at gmail.

      Personal information is only valuable if the person it belongs to makes it valuable. Here’s a really great TED talk about this:

      Also, as far as I know, Google doesn’t sell your information. They sell their ability to place ads in front of people more likely to be interested in them. Selling someone’s information is a bad business model, because you only do business once. Better to keep the information to yourself, (with user privacy as a bonus) and just sell your ability to advertise better. Everybody wins.

  3. This is why I’ve quit everything Google early last year and just recently deactivated my FB account. Not that I used either much at all, but it’s a very liberating feeling to not be tied to their so-called services at all. Both companies rely on a very creepy business model and I understand that they have no choice but to behave as they do. That’s why I avoid them like the plague. It’s just in their *nature* (DNA) to collect as much info about you as possible to sell to make their money. It amazes me that so many people either don’t know this or don’t care.

    1. “as possible to sell to make their money”

      Google doesn’t sell your personal information. They sell advertising space. There’s a big difference.

      Consider highway billboard advertising. This billboard company has the unique advantage of knowing what the majority of people in a given area are generally interested in at a given time, like shopping for hats, or science. Advertisers will then pay this billboard company to put their ads in good spots to attract the most attention based on this interest information. Google is never actually telling the advertiser what John Jacob’s interests or personal details are.

      1. @ Mailer: Up to this point I have felt that your comments have merit and you’ve been doing your own thinking.

        However, Google doesn’t sell your personal information. They sell advertising space. There’s a big difference leads me to believe that you have no idea how pervasive Google is and how little you know about what Google does with your personal information. If it doesn’t sell your personal information, why do they collect it in the first place? I’m too tired (and a bit too lazy) to look up the relevant links that will open your eyes but believe me, Google considers all information gathered from search requests, Gmail, G+, etc. to be nuggets of gold. It’s money in the bank as Google sells that information to its true customers, ad agencies. No advertiser needs to know my birth date, my sex, my army record, my employment record, or how often I visit Amazon. Yet Google knows this and sells this info. Period.

  4. Google.

    They know where you live. They photographed your house, with you sunbathing in the yard. They may have forgotten to destroy those regrettable conversations of yours that they inadvertently recorded. They observe and tally your clandestine web searches. They helpfully provide you with links to stories about liposuction and hair removal miracles.

    But they must escalate, in order to slow the ascendency of rival Facebook.

    Increasingly, they will follow you around, learn what you like, where you like it, whom you know, whom you wish you knew. They will algorithmically connect the dots, and assign you to an targeted ad package worth 350K US dollars per year in ad revenue. Your representative face will appear in one of their ad-pitch PowerPoint presentations. Over time, you will learn to ignore the brazen appropriation of your data and the intrusive marketing of your self.

    Brave new world.

    1. You can make Google forget about any interests it’s inferred about you, or just turn that off altogether on your Google Ads Preferences manager ( It’s really not that big of a deal.

      “Your representative face will appear in one of their ad-pitch PowerPoint presentations.”

      What is this I don’t even

  5. If you forgot all the scary stuff, the saddest part is that Google is potentially earning more from me yearly than I am earning yearly. Not just sad, depressing. Thank god I don’t really care.

    1. Google’s 2011 revenue was $37.905 billion (advertising revenue + other revenue). Let’s pretend that it’s all from advertising. Now, let’s divide this by the number of people that use Google to get an average amount they make per user. There are about 800 million YouTube users. Let’s pretend that those are the only people that use Google. If you divide them, you get $47.38 per person. Hardly your annual income, and this is with very, very generous rounding and fudging.

  6. Wrong. Open an email account, delete Google+ account fully. Done! :D. You do have to open the shit account but you can immediately delete it. Gaining ground? Not hardly. It sucks bad.

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