Have you ever tried to drop a review about an app you just downloaded and used on your smartphone, only to have Play Store tell you you need to have a Google + account before you can? It is so frustrating I must admit.
The good news for those who don’t have a Google+ account is that they can now review an app on Play Store. All you need now is just the Gmail account that took you into Play Store.
Now I can drop a particularly nasty review on some apps I discovered were just a plain waste of my time and save somebody else from a harrowing experience.
Removing that requirement before one can rate an app is also good because now, more honest opinions about an app can be written down. Let me explain that a bit.
Some app developers who are really interested in promoting their apps have this obnoxious practice of paying for reviews. And people who get paid to review apps normally don’t see signing up for a Google+ account as a big deal. After all, they have been paid to do it.
Impartial users, however, would simply delete the app and not bother to drop a review because they don’t want to go through the trouble of getting a Google+ account just to drop one review.
It is now very likely we would start seeing more honest reviews of apps on Play Store.
Though Google have not released a statement to confirm the news, Android Police is reporting that several people have being able to write reviews without needing a Google+ account. Tech Crunch confirmed the development when they contacted Google about the story on Android Police.
What this means is that Google have now realized Google+ cannot never be the new Facebook or Twitter. Because that was the intention when Google+ was launched five years ago.
Google wanted a social forum to rival Facebook. In theory, it was suppose to be a walk in the park for Google+ in terms of getting people to sign up because all you had to do was use your existing Gmail account and you are in.
But for some reason, it did not quite work out that way. Maybe because people were satisfied with having just Facebook; what was the point of adding a Facebook clone? Even with almost everybody either having a Gmail account or using Google Search, signing up to Google+ just never got the required traction.
There is this funny anecdote that when Google+ was launched five years ago, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, was so scared the service was going to be a real threat to his social forum.
You shouldn’t blame him though. This is a Google service. And Google already had hundred of millions using one Google service or the other that required owning a Gmail.
But it turned out Zuckerberg had nothing to fear from Google+. Instead he should have looked the way of little known Snapchat that was launched the same year.
Back then, nobody gave the start up much of a chance. Two years later, Facebook was trying to buy them because they were beginning to make a name as a serious player. Snapchat refused Facebook’s offer.
Today, Snapchat is flourishing to the extend that Facebook is doing is doing all it can to clip their wings and halt their momentum.
So while small Snapchat is getting stronger by the day, Google+ that came with a lot of promise is going nowhere really. This latest move by Google could be just one in a series of calculated moves to quietly kill Google+.
It started last year when Google announced that in the coming months, Google+ would be de-linked from several Google services. That is, you don’t need to have a Google+ account to use the service.
The most popular of these de-linking moves was the removal of Google+ from YouTube. So one can now post comments on YouTube without having a Google+ account.
What happens to Google+ in future is strictly Google’s business. Only a few care about the service anyway. And killing it won’t be that bad an event either. It won’t be the first time Google is resting a service because it did not meet expectations.
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