This post originally appeared on an old blog on 13 April 2013. It’s part of a series of posts which I’m “recovering” from the archives.
This post, a complaint of Google+, is a nice insight into technology. Given recent events, the final sentence seems particularly amusing. I don’t use very many google services these days aside from the google play store on android and the occasional YouTube video from an RSS subscription. I’m glad to be rid of it.
[edited lede 2019]
About an hour before typing this post, I came to the conclusion that, given that I have never really used Google+, that I would take a stab at erasing my account, or at least rendering it fully inactive. That is to say, It wouldn’t send me any more e-mails (frequent though they were), and it would no longer be plastered all over YouTube, rendering it a more entertaining experience for me.
Now. That should have set the alarm bells ringing. You see, it seems that you are not allowed to use YouTube without a G+ account. Why? Don’t ask me, I’m just the victim end user. When i deactivated my G+ account, I found that i could no longer access my YouTube channel page. I also found that I had been logged out. I initially thought, Oh. It erased my YouTube account.
However, on logging back in, I found that instead it had simply de-activated my account, and made everything private. When I clicked the button to re-activate my account, lo and behold, it made me sign back up for Google+. Hurrah for systems integration.
Now, I don’t know who made the decision that YouTube should not be usable without G+, but it seems to me like a marketing scheme to make g+ more popular. The first screen it showed me after this stated that
YouTube is more fun with Google+!
Absolute Bull<censored> [sic]. This was precisely the reason that I had started the whole debacle in the first place, to get away from something useless. Now, This time, I’m just going to let it fester in the background, even though “Festering is never a good thing”, as a wise shape-shifting dog once said.
Now, on to the more interesting portion of the story: The background to why it happened. Now, as i said, I am simply an end-user so i can merely guess as to why this situation occurred. But it seems to me like one of those executive decisions taken high up somewhere to create more money and “enjoyment” for the end-user. Even though such decisions never really help anyone.
By integrating G+ into YouTube, an event that probably happened around the last big re-modelling of their Terms and Conditions contract, they can essentially monitor more data, and allow for more correlation. And while this doesn’t affect anyone who didn’t already use G+, it does bait more people into joining it. Crafty Google Execs. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this just gets more Ad money for them. And given that Google is mostly an Ad-Funded business, anything that will improve this line of profit is pretty much a no-brainer decision from their point of view.
Another reason I dislike this integration is that, as has already been proven, it is much harder to get rid of. Any data that was associated with my old G+ account is likely still here in my new one, because it was tied with my YouTube account. So really, all I have done is waste an hour of my time having to go through, re-publicising my videos and playlists. Oh, and all those likes, or “+1”s as Google would put it, are probably still registered to those videos, just under a non-existent account.
Large companies like Google seem to have some sort of major aversion to deleting data. I have never quite understood why, but it probably has something to do with data mining. And not the good kind of data mining, like seti@home, but the bad data mining like, well, AdSense.
Damnit, Google+, You’re never going to go away, are you?