We’re betting that some in the Google inner circle are ruing the day that someone at Google HQ first uttered “Don’t be evil.” Like Bush’s “Read my lips, no new taxes”, it has become the iconic soundbite with which they are most associated. How that gels with the news that Google is now forcing anyone with a Google Profile to make that profile public or lose it, well, we’re sure we don’t know. But there it is: where users used to be able to keep their Google Profile private, Google has made clear that private profiles will no longer be permitted. Either take your Google Profile public, or lose it when they do a mass deletion of all private Google profiles on July 31st.
Explains Google, “The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public. Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you’ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don’t want to share. If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011.”
We could pick this statement apart line by line, but we think that our readers are smart enough to do this for themselves. But reading between those lines, clearly, having a social network (cough – Google+ – cough) doesn’t really work very well if your users can keep their profiles private.
Some Google services, including Gmail, don’t require a Google Profile. But their social network, Google+, does require a a Google Profile – make that a public Google Profile.
Even Facebook doesn’t require that.
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