Google is Forcing Google+ Integration

The Wall Street Journal, in a revealing piece:

"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."


"In recent months, Google has pressed ahead with other forms of integration. This past fall, for instance, Google began requiring people who want to post their reviews of restaurants or other businesses to use their Google+ profiles to do so."

What? Google is desperately trying to sneak their way into people's lives whether they like it or not? Imagine my surprise!

I actually learned about this forced Google+ integration the hard way about a week ago, when I attempted to get rid of my account. I wasn't using it for anything, and the information listed there felt dated anyway, so why bother keeping it around? They even have a handy page for easily deleting the profile (they interestingly call it "downgrading").

After deleting Google+ from my account, I noticed that I could no longer add YouTube videos to my favorites. I was forced to re-"upgrade" to having a Google+ profile in order to regain that functionality. Had I done nothing, I'm sure I would have noticed other aspects of my Google account behaving erratically, but I went ahead and recreated the Google+ profile to save the hassle of finding out.

This kind of behavior leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I shouldn't have to be part of a social service I don't use, just to gain basic functionality on another site the company owns. What is Google even trying to accomplish here? A bigger share of a market where nobody uses their product except as a means to an unrelated end?

I think Marco Arment puts it best:

"But Google’s increasingly desperate push to cram Google+ down everyone’s throats hasn’t made Google+ any more relevant."