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Are you f—ing kidding me?
There are currently a bunch of stories claiming that Google is "requiring" people to use Google+ because a Google+ profile is created for a user as soon as he or she signs up for another Google service (such as Gmail). The general message is something along the lines of "Google is clearly forcing Google+ on people by tightly integrating it with other Google services."

Let's think about this for a second though.

For starters, let's talk about what happens when you sign up for a new Gmail account and then head to If you went through the motions right now, you would see what's in the screenshot attached to this post. That's right — a prompt asking you to create your public Google+ profile. In order to continue the profile creation process, you have to click a little button labeled "Upgrade." That's not exactly the fully automated process some are suggesting occurs.

Now, once you do have your Google+ profile all ready to go, you'll notice that it's linked to YouTube, Google Local, and other services. This is a terrible thing, according to some, because you might not want to connect your real identity to these services. Ok. No problem. There's a "Log Out" button in the top right corner.

See, the thing is that you can actually watch YouTube videos, read reviews on Google Local, get directions on Google Maps, and do almost anything you want on Google's sites and services without being logged into a Google account.

That's not quite true for some other sites and services, now is it?

For example, there are quite a few places on the Web which present you with a "like-gate," a roadblock which requires you to "like" a product, person, or brand on Facebook in order to view some content. At that point, not only is your real identity involved, but — unless you use some browser trick — you are actually forced to publicly claim that you "like" something in order to just look at a video, listen to a song, or read an article. Sound familiar? You've probably seen these "like-gates" on Facebook itself as well as on some third-party sites.

Now, compare preventing users from seeing content unless they click a "like" button to reminding them that they can create a Google+ when they sign up for another Google service. Which social network is being forced on users again?
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Phil K
Nope, I've seen that, been prompting me everytime time I sign into my other gmail account I use for job hunting. I've been opting out constantly.
Jesse H
Damm Girl !!! A true Google + protector. Well spoken.
Let's let those people stay with Facebook. 
Jesse H
I was not required at all. It was my choice. Where are they coming from. Google has a great setup. They worked at it.
This is a great point! Also lets consider all of the awesome, powerful and FREE services that Google provide for everyone. Many people use these services to run a business in which they make money (again for FREE).
Haters.  Sheesh.  Gonna hate.

They feel like they have no control over their own lives, so they look for ways to claim that they have no control.  It's really a marvelous communication tool, this G+ thingy.
Rosa, I think you're asking a bit much of the average writer, let alone their readers.  Remember, by definition the average IQ is only 100.  All you have are facts and a reasonable demeanor in presenting them; that's no match for the torches-and-pitchforks crowd.
+Tau-Mu Yi: Maybe later. I just felt the need to rant a bit between dinner and dessert. ;)
Jesse H
What's for dessert ??? I hope it's good. Hope I never get on your bad side Rosa. :))
No More
I wasn't forced? Furthermore we all know what we sign up for when joining these sites..I personally could care less. 
Some people are not as informed and very paranoid about such services.  I have another Google account and G+ was never forced upon me to use it
I have 4 other Google accounts and every time I add the account to my phone it does ask me to make a Plus but I just hit skip 
I was never forced to create a Google 2005. XD
One of the things I really like about Google+ is that it has no Thumbs Down feature.  Only +1.  That's something that really goes a long way to keeping down the negativity we see on so many other sites.  Sure trolls are lurking around G+ as well, but the solution here is so simple:  un-circle them and they go away.  People start posting political bias propaganda of the kind you don't agree with?  Mute them.  No need for Reddit like flame wars.  They still happen, but I think the nature of G+ goes a long way to tamping it down.  Thanks G+.  Not bad.
Jesse H
Indeed. Google + holds a positive point of view. In today's world, we need that.
+Rosa Golijan I personally don't consider this a big deal and can appreciate the marketing aspect of this 'push'. 

Just the other day, I created a new gmail account for a client and didn't run into any forced G+ sign-up. In fact, it was a seamless, magical experience.. ;)

Of course Google wants to attain more people on G+ and when someone signs-up to Gmail, it makes complete sense to get folks to join it while Google is still fresh in their minds.

It is no different than ordering some fast food combo and not wanting the soda. Try that one day and see their reaction.. lol

At the end of the day.. if folks don't like the 'G+ Gestapo', send them back to Facebook as THEY don't force you into anything.. ;)
Google+ is better than Facebook. I have stopped using FB because of privacy issue.
Google+ has the main advantage of group sex: if you don't like it, you can take a break!
Jesse H
Interesting way to put it.
G+ has never pushed itself on me, and I'd imagine dropping you're account doesn't take 4 hours like FB not to mention they are staring to take down posts related to politics and gun control bah
Are you talking about the WSJ article today? That guy is an idiot who has never ventured out of the confines of Facebook.
No well maybe but there is a whole list . I'm out of all of it sick of the hate an bashing back and fourth 
Personally, the integration is a big seller for me.  Rock on Google!
Google+ is better than Facebook in my opinion. I will stay here and never go back to Facebook. Posts like these is what makes my experience better on here. Great points said.
Great to see this brought up again. I had to tell someone a few days ago that they were not forced into signing up for G+, they chose it.
Bill P.
Such language! lol
One problem I have is a client who has 2 profiles and its wrongly to the wrong youtube accounts for him.  Now if he deletes the wrong one it erases his proper youtube.  We cant get the problem fixed for months.  Its a nightmare
Integration of these programs is just good programming. As long as you can opt out it seems like a great solution for many like myself who manage a ton of programs and like when they play nice.
Thanks Rosa but it doesnt appear to.  Let me explain a bit more.  My client had a google+ account.  He signed up for another gmail for his business, they pushed the Google+ profile at him and he felt forced to do it.  Google+ does push it on you and most consumers just ride along.  I've a had a ton of people asking me why they are forced to join it.  Now he has 2 google+ profiles.  The youtube account he did want attached to his proper Googe+ profile, Google attached to his 2nd profile that he accidently made.  Now if we delete the 2nd profile it will delete his long standing youtube account which he did NOT link with that profile - Google did it on their own.  Google will not release it to the other account and both accounts are cris-crossed with a mess of wrong accounts.  Its a nightmare.  No one at Google has answered our questions or offered to fix the problem.  This problem is huge for people if you google it (ironically).  Once google gets you they wont let go even if its to change things around.
+Chris Voss: To me it still sounds like you should be able to resolve the issue by transferring the primary Google+ account's data to the Google account that has the primary YouTube account connected to it. It would put the two primary accounts together.

Anyway, that's just the way it seems to me, but I'm not in your situation nor am I some sort of tech support — despite what some folks seem to think.
I don't do much mind the "like" option when it is real, but I have run into several instances on Facebook lately where it has reported me as "liking" a page or product I have never looked at our approved of. Very strange.
Just because you log out does not mean google is not tracking you. Still, i figure everyone who uses google has a 'profile', just not with a name, birthday etc. I think its naive to think logging out will keep your behaviour from being linked with google accounts. 
Google knows all.. they've had full access to my online activity since the late 90's early 2000's.. I've never felt like they made me do anything.. I guess they are just that good :)
Thanks +Rosa Golijan  I'll research it more - Google says the Youtube account will be deleted as its a "legacy" account.  Somehow older youtube accounts have less options or something
Facebook keeps track of it's users on other sites too, and shows it in people's timelines
Very passionate...I'm intellectually turned on! :-)
Here is the thing. If Google wants to remain relevant (and protect their business model in the process) I don't see that they have much choice. They simply have to nudge people in this direction.

Also, I am 100% convinced that in the not too distant future everything is going to be "social" by default. All the cry wolf stuff will make no sense then :)
+Peter du Toit
If +Google+ is doing what fb does, how will they stay relevant? Lmao their intent is not to massively steal users from fb but rather give people a different experience which in turn becomes a deeper reason for new comers
I have been on gmail for many years and expanded to using Calendar and only recently decided to try G+ (shortly after finally trying FB). I certainly wasn't forced into any of the Google services I use, though there were notices here and there.
And yes, they and others will track us whether we sign in or not. You'd be amazed at how well Target knows you. There's a book I read on this I'll have to look up--it was a good read.
+Gavin Belarmino trust me, the name of the game is linking real people (read you and me) to their online activities so that ads can be more targeted, that is where the gold is (and Facebook is ahead of that game right now) I can tell one thing for sure there is no way that Google is going to leave that on the table.

So how do they solve that - by getting people to create profiles here - its the only way.

If they don't get this right (and I believe they will) then Facebook will win.
At google+ they are kind and still ask, but at FB they dont ask and know everything from y, even when y are in the toilette ( that is if y have your mobile with y). Before y sign up anywhere, y should first think if y wanted to get into the net that is the question y should do for yourself.
That is the WWW and not WLN ( street or at home ) ;-0
I want a free social web site that is exactly what I want. (Yeah, I know)
There is no free social web site in the WWW. Only at home y have that be realistic

+Rosa Golijan Well, that "almost" in your post turns out to include a rather important omission... I am a huge supporter of Google and G+ in particular BUT on mobile what you can see without logging in IS rather paltry. On an iPhone if you use the web browser (Safari in my case) and Google Search "Rosa Golijan Google" you come across your G+ profile BUT you CANNOT SEE the same thing you would on the desktop... Try it now... You cannot see past a short summary of your posts, you cannot see the photos tab AT ALL without being logged-in, for example, BOTH of which you CAN DO on Safari on the desktop... TRY IT there, not logged-in, you see a lot more.

I have not read or seen the writings that you refer to but can add that G+ and Google services tend to be world-class and free — in addition to INSANELY USEFUL and VALUABLE on a constant basis. I would HIGHLY ENCOURAGE people anywhere to join. But there are flaws... Some of them HUGE FAILURES (see my frustrated post yesterday about their continued neglect on business G+ pages). Their decision to not treat mobile web browsers the same as desktop web browsers is one if them. One reason we NEED them on mobile is that it is NIGH IMPOSSIBLE to catch a link to a post to paste into a post you write on mobile within the G+ app on iPhone, for example. Like THIS ONE which I am typing by hand because I am writing this on my phone:

+Peter du Toit honestly, a majority of people hate fb for whatever reason. The only real reason people haven't swayed away from it is to keep in touch with family /old friends. Fb will not be on the top for that much longer. People are sick of the ads already. You think the people will feel OK with annoying ads all the time? I think not
Google are trying to raise discoverability and encourage adoption of G+ a lot more than they used to, that much can't be denied. But people who are saying it is being forced unto them are downright ignorant.
My son needed a gmail address to use on his Blackberry phone,yes google wanted him to create a profile.i told him to for get it and just use the mail address....
Panoramio and Google Analytics are also integrated under the same log in.
I hate it when you have to sign up on FB just to read an article. 
Rosa, see if you can grab a Wall Street Journal for today.  'Mandatory Google+ integration' is on the front page.
Muhhahahahahahah ... resistance is futile; you will be assimilated.
+50 internets for you, maddam.
I've seen one story so far from the WSJ. Could you please link to the other "bunch" of stories? I'd like to read them. :D
Dear +Rosa Golijan , you wonderful tech journalist. I fear you may not be the anti-google fangirl some would hope you to be.

Facts? Research? My God, I'm glad you're on reason's side. :D
It's interesting, probably this kind of things are the reason for many people to trust in google but not in facebook
Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. All forms of socal networking are based upon gathering your information. Your information became unprivatized when you signed on to the internet. Rosa, thanks for enlightening the world with your knowledge. 
Google has been approved for use by our University due to its ability to adhere to the privacy of the students. Unfortunately, Google+ app has yet to be approved through our student profiles. I did, however, use Google+ through my personal account for a course I took in digital communications. It was the best application I have used to date. There was no gun-to-the-head attempts at invading my privacy, and I am able to modify the settings with ease. 
Google+ will become part of the mainstream learning applications in the near future. Facebook will never come close.
Thanks for this post! I am often accused of having "drunk the Google Koolaid" when I say that I trust Google's approach to collecting and aggregating data, but I don't know of any other major player in the social web universe that is as open about how they do this.
+Rosa Golijan as much as I like what you think and post, surely you must know you are preaching to the choir here. 
A woman that knows, that she knows, that she knows and keep it real s*** what more can be said?
I recently associated G+ with YouTube but it was an option and not at all mandatory. You can still remain anonymous. It's funny how many people buy into rumors that they read on the internet. Funny and sad.
Even if they do, they don't force you to be public. I find it to be a great dashboard for not just my google services but as a news feed mashup for just the authors or publications I want to hear from...
I was never forced to sign up. Sounds like someone cough*Instgram*cough is dragging a red herring down a slippery slope. Just kidding. Oh, and I'd like to keep this message anonymous, so please don't read my name in this post, m'kay? Great. Thanks. ;)
I hate that nonsense! sign up for this and then you might get what you actually wanted in the first place! I try to read everything carefully when downloading  anything!
Following up on my earlier post, for those interested in just how much and in what ways businesses know about us (and other interesting stuff), check out the book "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely.
Mike H
and just for the record - even if you don't want the + you'll get it and your account is also linked to youtube. But still nobody seems to worry . . .
Why worry?  I didn't get + or Youtube with my gmail account automatically.  Then again, perhaps from years of experience I tend to automatically review and uncheck or check boxes for things I don't want that are part of account sign-ups, app installs, etc.
'if' one was born on the earth - everything, and i refer to everything,and anything there is regarding a person - is available [as well as information that most individuals would not even think about in general, is in existence] and shall always remain there . . . though, this IS on a 'need-to-know' basis - reference . . .

respectfully submitted [have a wonderful day - evening all and a Happy New Year to each of you as well . . .]

signed, richard aka nobody
Ah, back to the personal information topic. I was referring to gmail leading to g+ and such automatically. In general though, yes, I think awareness (not worry) is needed. Note the book Predictably Irrational I mentioned earlier.
>>For starters, let's talk about what happens when you sign up for a new Gmail account and ...<<
+Rosa Golijan : You're wrong: When you from Google's home page (i.e. ) click "GMail" (as found in the black bar at top), and then click the red "CREATE AN ACCOUNT"-button, then, after the first account creation screen: The second screen will look like
The only option to move on from that screen is to click the blue "Next step"-button, which will cause the creation of a Google+ Profile for the account you've just created in the first screen.
Your account's association with Google+ is certainly at that point a very barebone one, with a pretty blank Google+ Profile, but it is there! *No* "Upgrade" is later performed - only filling in more information can (or may) later be done.
This is the kind of thing I want to know thank you
There is a spot on there  where you can tell them that you do not want them to track you.
It is good in a business sense, because you want the integration, but you still can set your privacy settings.  Just a little more work.
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