Google has decided to tread on that tightrope between peddling advertisements in a fun way and giving Google users something to make their skin crawl. The company has announced it might start including endorsements which Google+ users make inside advertisements. This policy would begin November 11. If so, then you, if you are a Google+ user would get to see your face placed inside various Google ads with your own words of praise about the product.
As to how it would work, if you use the service to rate any service, and then the company behind that product decides to market on Google, when the company purchases any sort of ad, your friends will get to see a version which has your photo along with what you said about the item.
If this all seems somewhat familiar, that is due to opponents having been furious about a parallel advertising idea from Facebook called sponsored stories. These ads ended up in a class-action lawsuit where the social network eventually ended up paying out $20 million in a settlement and it had to illuminate its privacy settings. Predictably, the explanation ended up provoking even more rounds of outrage and anger.
Google and Facebook both have been in major trouble for violating their users’ confidentiality, yet nothing about the newest move comes from an intrinsic violation of privacy. Facebook’s worry did not come from the addition of users inside Facebook ads but from the absence of any clarity on what it was doing. Google is attempting to sidestep that mistake. It is actually very easy to opt out of these ads on Google if you so choose. All you have to do is go to the privacy page and unclick the box that gives Google any permission to allow it to use your likeness. Yes Google will moan somewhat about it. You will get a warning pop-up box which will warn you that disabling this setting means your friends will not be able to get any benefits from your personal references and endorsements. Nevertheless, it does seem it will let you get out.
There seems to be yet another way not to be inside Google’s advertisements as well. Just make sure that you do not ever use any of Google’s available social features. Although that some people choosing to opt out of Google ads may not be the best for the company, it would be much worse if people began to really stop using the entire service itself. Each time when something like this ad controversy arrives on the scene, there is always threats from various users to completely stop using Google+ because this makes them extremely angry. Google, and even more regularly, Facebook, has to bear down and tolerate all the condemnation because the corporation seems to be pretty self-confident that the many users are much more likely to criticize than to go through with actually up and leaving. The company feels that it can handle one or two days of condemnation as long as people stay because in the long run, the money that will be made is worth the criticism of a few hours.
The only trouble is, are you one of the ones who will gripe and then turn the other cheek when your face shows up in Google ads or do you even care? Some individuals could not care less. They will enjoy the feelings of being “famous” even if just being in an ad on Google.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble