One of my Twitter network complained today that when they went to run a Google search a Google+ reminder for someone’s birthday popped up in top right hand corner. Google did the same to me prompting me to wish them a Happy Birthday. Does that remind you of another social network beginning with F? Yes, we were both signed in to our Google accounts and I have confessed on several occasions that I have sold my soul to Google. I have even gone as far as to sync all my data between my devices and my Google dashboard via Chrome. I made that decision knowing how much information about me that would give Google but I decided it would be worth doing. I can access my maps, bookmarks, searches etc. when I’m on the move and using my Android smartphone; and if my laptop dies all my Google and web browsing stuff can be quickly restored to a new machine.
I still have another Google account that predates even Gmail but on the few occasions when I use it Google doesn’t so much suggest rather than demand that I upgrade to Google+. It requires a lot of effort, ingenuity and many clicks to say “NO!” Many of Google’s services and search features now require you to have an account and by default it may soon have to be a Google+ account. A reminder that someone in your Google+ circle has a birthday may seem a minor issue but as my Twitter correspondent said “function creep”. And there’s been a lot of that going on in Google search recently.