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Google Plus - The Most Successful Google Project
Google Plus(+) is a social networking and identity service. Google has promoted the service as a social layer that connects all other Google Services, a layer which makes it easy to use the same profile to log on all the different Google Services like Gmail, YouTube and so on. Google Plus account is required to make comments in YouTube, use e-mail or calendar services, blog through Blogger. It also allows you to become the author for your writings, using their authorship tool. According to the latest data, Google Plus boosts over 540,000,000 users, which used at least one Google + service in the last month.
The issue with the social network side is that it attracted mostly males and is popular mainly among the tech entusiasts. Facebook and Twitter are miles ahead when it comes to activity of their users. Google + failed here and a lot of people think that because of this the whole project is a huge fail. Those people just couldn't look at the big picture - Google does not care of your selfies(okey, they might care a little but for those they have Picasa and Google Drive). Their major business is Google Search and providing ads for it. This is where their revenue comes. This is how they rule the Internet. Everything they have done is related with Google Search and providing better results and better ads, which people will click and buy.
Before Google Plus, Google had literally no idea that the person who watched a specific YouTube video, looked for something in Google Maps and searched specific things in Google Search, received something specific in their e-mail. Now, as you are forced to log using Google + and use your real name with it, they know everything you have done in their services and can connect all the dots. This is huge. This is why Google Plus is the most successful project Google has launched for last few years and it is next to impossible to beat them as Google Plus does not compete with other social networks.
Google can collect your data even if you don't use their services.
If you are worried about your online privacy and using your own e-mail server on your own hosting you are still vulnerable. Sending mails to Gmail or Google Apps users will still give Google access to the content of your e-mail, which will allow them to start build information about you.
Every time you visit a website with Google Analytics you will be tracked. More than that, Google will know which page send you and which site you will move next, tracking your referral ID and your exit click. Thus you might visit 3 sites with only one of them having Google analytics installed(around 67% of the top 100,000 websites use google analytics) and only second one uses Google Analytics, Google will be able to identify all the three websites.
Every video you watch on YouTube will track you too. Every Google + share button will get your credentials. All that data is used to give you the best ads for you and Google AdWords is one of the best ways to promote your service to people, who are searching for you and your business. From the ads I have seen over the web and my Google search(I usually use AdBlock, but I have filtered some of the websites I like and want to support) they are doing a great job.
75% of all smartphones are powered by Google Android. This is another way Google is collecting all the needed information about you. Google Glass is trying to become a mainstream product, which will give them access to even more data.
Do You Use Google Plus as a Social Network Or Just Login Tool
Google + Criticism
There are a few spaces, where Google Plus was not successful - the social network is banned in People's Republic of China, since the beginning of the network, thus not giving Google access to over one billion people. On July 11, 2011 Iranian government banned Google Plus as a part of their censorship program.
Google Plus is Required to comment at YouTube
On 6th November, Google made a new change in the second biggest search platform online - YouTube. In order to make a comment to any YouTube video you needed a Google Plus account and disclose your real name with it. YouTube co-founder commented that he will not be able to comment in YouTube since he doesn't own and don't want to own a Google Plus account. From the other hand it was a change which improved the quality of YouTube comments, which for a long time were full with spam, racist and jerk comments, thus improving the user experience.
Google is watching
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