Google+, an Identity Service

How Social Networks See Users - The Anti-Social MediaThis weekend Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt said Google+ is actually an identity service.

Well color me surprised.

An identity service? What the hell does that mean? Isn’t this a social network where I can connect with my friends?

Google is really just a giant internet advertising service. Facebook is the same way. We’ve know that for years. But for Google to basically come out and say “We’re profiling you.” is creepy as fuck.

Now when I use Google+, I notice how it’s collecting information about me. Circles, which are essential to add people, delineate my relationships. Sparks, a feature which I haven’t used at all, is really just a method to capture my interests for advertising. When you go to Google+ and you aren’t logged in, you notice that isn’t called Google+, it’s the Google+ Project.

A project to identify everyone.

Well then.

Will there ever be a social network that isn’t creepy? I’m not holding my breath, even for Diaspora (Side note: what the hell ever happened to Diaspora?).

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13 Responses to “Google+, an Identity Service”

  1. Morgan August 30, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    Knew this long before they officially announced it. That’s why I don’t use it. It’s never felt like a social network to me, it’s just felt like another way for Google to collect data about how I act and react to figure out how they can better advertise to me.

    While FB may do the same thing, FB isn’t a search engine (in the technical sense that Google is, anyway). FB, at first, was created to genuinely connect people. However, in the case of Google, Google+ was created to catalog the way people live.


    • Jay August 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      I thought Facebook was created so college kids could check out who they wanted to hook up with.

      I do think Facebook is in part a search engine. At the same time though, it is more than that.

      • Del August 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

        lol to the why FB was created, but MySpace made cyber-stalking way easier than Facebook.

        Not that I ever did that of course. *cough*

        • Jay August 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

          MySpace was also the land of complete whore photos. I think I saw more body glitter there than I ever needed to see.

      • Morgan August 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

        FB has definitely turned into a search engine, yes, but wasn’t originally intended for that purpose.

        • Chris Ferdinandi September 7, 2011 at 8:57 am #

          I’m not sure I get the “Facebook has turned into a search engine” line.

          Do people really search for stuff there? My friends and I are still just using it to share photos and stuff.

          As for Google+, I deleted my account about three weeks. Been happy as a clam.

    • Babu M Varghese September 1, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      I also support your views. I also wrote about it before. They would like to calibrate their advertising platform adwords and adsence with free info collected from google plus users. This would support your views .

  2. Camilo Olea August 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Apparently, the Diaspora team is still working on the platform. I believe they’ll either end up releasing something amazing, or, by the time they actually release it, people won’t care anymore.


    “Will there ever be a social network that isn’t creepy?”

    Probably not.

    • Jay August 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      Care about what? ;)

  3. Laura August 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Google+ felt creepy to me from the outset, partly because it seemed to CLAIM it was “only interested in what was best for you, dear. Not like that nasty Facebook.”

    • Jay August 30, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

      It’s the people who claim to want what’s best for us who are in actuality the creepiest.

  4. Aaron Eden August 31, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    Jay, I’m having the same feeling… Perhaps, the use of the word ‘identity’ is just so wrong that it sounds like they’ll start profiling everyone? I’m just confused. I mean, at LinkedIn, you’re using your real name as a professional offering your service, but it wasn’t called an ‘identity service’.. I really don’t mind about the transparency thing, just the wording, I guess.

  5. Michelle September 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    “Will there ever be a social network that isn’t creepy?”

    Yes. A social network that has a two-tiered pay/free business model - like Dreamwidth. Somebody has to pay: either advertisers or users.

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