Google+ is slowly taking over our digital lives – especially if you use Google services like Android, Gmail, or Search. Today, Google silently made Google+ slightly more important by integrating it directly with the Google Play Store.
Now, users need to have a Google+ profile in order to leave a review. Instead of anonymously leaving messages about how much they love or hate a particular app, all reviews will now be linked directly to that user’s name and Google+ profile. However, the review itself will simply be written by “A Google User”, so full first and last names will not be disclosed directly on the app page.
So how will this affect the app store and Android users? You can probably expect to see a lot fewer app reviews written. After all, some people might not want to take the time to sign into Google+ before leaving a review.
Google also hasn’t said how this will affect privacy for Google+ users. Although the reviews themselves simply say “A Google User” under the author section, the reviews are clearly linked to the Google+ profile in some way. Do developers have access to this information? Does Google use this information to determine what kind of person you are? Is Google secretly assassinating everybody who writes bad reviews for Google apps? We just don’t know.
The change has already taken effect, so if you were planning to anonymously sneak in a few overwhelmingly negative reviews for your least favorite apps, forget about it.