Amir Efrati for the WSJ:
And for the past year, Google has automatically created a Google+ profile page for anyone who has signed up for a Google account—even just to sign up for Gmail. …
The impetus for such integration comes from the top: Google Chief Executive Larry Page has sought more aggressive measures to get people to use Google+, two people familiar with the matter say. The CEO about a year ago pushed the idea of requiring Google users to sign on to their Google+ accounts even just to view reviews of businesses, the people say. …
Google executives say more integration is coming. “Google+ is Google. And the entry points to Google+ are many, and the integrations are more every day,” says Vice President Bradley Horowitz.
Just as marketshare isn’t everything, the number of users on a free service can often give misleading impressions of activity, influence, relevance, and user loyalty.
In Google+’s case, I do believe them that they have 500 million accounts, but that’s about half as many as Facebook. Does anyone believe for a second that Google+ has half of any other important metric as Facebook?
Creating a Facebook account is deliberate. Very few people have accidentally joined. Conversely, most people know whether they have a Facebook account or not.
But Google’s increasingly desperate push to cram Google+ down everyone’s throats hasn’t made Google+ any more relevant. It has only resulted in a lot of confused Google-account owners who inadvertently “upgraded” to Google+ while trying to do something else on a Google property, and who don’t even realize that they have this account on this social network that none of their friends use even though they all accidentally have accounts on it.