Google’s attempts to more aggressively push its Google+ social network have been controversial but we shouldn’t expect them to stop anytime soon. The New York Times has a nice explanation of why Google+ is so vital to Google’s future advertising revenues and why it’s willing to risk annoying its user base to help get Google+ more regular visitors.
Essentially, Google seems to have hit a wall when it comes to generating ad revenues from its traditional services and it wants to gather more data so it can make ads even more personalized than they are right now. The only way to get this sort of data is to build a service comparable to what Facebook has where people share all of their interests, passions, loves and hatreds for others to see. This is where Google+ comes in: Even if you don’t specifically use it, Google has still made it its data hub for everything you do using Google services.
“Thanks to Plus, Google knows about people’s friendships on Gmail, the places they go on maps and how they spend their time on the more than two million websites in Google’s ad network,” writes the Times. “And it is gathering this information even though relatively few people use Plus as their social network.”
So get used to having Google+ as part of your online life if you use Gmail, Google Maps or any other key Google services. You may not like it but it’s definitely here to stay.