Feeds

back to article I've got the 'fastest growing THINGY ever', boasts Google+ chief

Google veep Vic Gundotra has described Google+ as "the fastest-growing network thingy ever." He claimed that 135 million people were now actively using it, while 500 million users have been signed up to the site. He added that 235 million peeps had used Google+ to do things like "hanging out" with their chums in Gmail. The ad …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

Google worries me

They track you via ads;

They track you via your email (if you use gmail);

They track you via your Kobo (see ads);

They now track you via social media;

They could track you via your mobile (and probably do is you a Google Maps or something running).

Am I being paranoid or there just too much of a threat from Google these days?

17
6
Rob
Bronze badge

Re: Google worries me

If the threat is that they will use that data to corner and assassinate you, then yes they are a threat. If it's using that data to build a marketable profile of you as an individual to push more adverts your way and sell that data to other businesses for the sake of free services on the internet then probably not so much. Although I would keep an eye on what Google is tracking and maybe have a clean-up once in awhile using the dashboard.

13
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

Naturally, since you find Google a worry, you don't have a Facebook account. They are, after all, far, far worse.

8
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

They also lobby politicans heavily to change the law to be in their favour which undermines democracy.

6
1
Angel

Re: Google worries me

Indeed, when it finally means I get adverts that are both relevant and maybe advertises will learn not to use explosive flashing ads to try and get my attention then again, I'm all for it.

I've _never_ brought something online from clicking an ad online, I go directly to sites to buy things I already know I want before I even booted the system. I don't see what they hope to get from me, but if it means I get more wonderful free services as I have now then go ahead.

7
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

However with Google, you have the option of opting out, clearing your privacy, or even downloading ALL your content.

Facebook and Microsoft are a million times more evil. I have no problems with tracking I have no problems with adverts as long as they are relevant and not in my face, and the more the track me, the more relevant those adverts will be.

10
8
jai
Silver badge

Re: Google worries me

<oblig Goodwins>

Hitler: a million times more evil than Stalin or Pol Pot.

So that's all right then.

</oblig Goodwins>

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

The anonymous poster has no problems with tracking. Get a user name and that might be slightly more believable.

What you really mean is you don't have a problem with Google tracking you because you work for their PR department. You may want to be a little less blatant in your astroturfing, it's just too obvious to be believable...

6
7
Bronze badge

Re: Google worries me

Their motto is "Don't Be Evil".

So there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

Except they dropped that a few years ago. I guess they could no longer say it and still keep a straight face.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Google worries me

Great, now you've got me worried about Google hit squads lurking in the shadows

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Google worries me

"The anonymous poster has no problems with tracking."

I believe it's called a "negative profile". You don't need to be on there, you just need to be tagged/mentioned in posts and can be profiled from that. FB apparently do this.

I'm not worried about the Google Death Squads or anything, I'm just worried about the creeping invasion of privacy. What used to be done in public, but was reasonable anonymous, is now open to scrutiny and potential misuse.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

Google doesn't worry me, but spare a thought for who they might pass on the data they've collected about you.

e.g. I don't recall ever telling Google directly in my YouTube or gmail account (only needed for my Android tablet) what county or town I live in, but somehow the weather app that came on my Android tablet knows what town I live in without me telling it...

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Google worries me

A card popped up on my whatevertheycallthatthing today, it told me how far it estimated I had walked this month compared with last month. Blimey, that felt like a line.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

Do you have any idea how HARD it is not to click on ads? Have a little sympathy for us mortals, Mr. Superman.

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Google worries me

Nope, your tablet knows where it is.

I'd guess the app simply defaulted to "the town you're currently in" when it started up for the first time. It's a fairly reasonable assumption for any software developer to make.

How did the tablet know where you are?

If it's got a cellular telephone system, that's enough to pick a town - and often enough to locate within a few hundred metres. GPS would clearly work down to much finer position.

If it has neither of those, it's still got WiFi, so it just looks up locations of the visible access points on the Google database. Originally acquired by Google Street View cars, and continually updated by any GPS-equipped device owner using Google Location Services (as per their terms of use).

Apple and Microsoft do exactly the same thing - just without the cars.

1
0

Re: Google worries me

Well, you know... First time I downvoted a post. Telling someone off for posting anonymously as A.C. explains what is wrong with this world on SO many levels...

Oh, just for the record: I use some of what google offers, and I believe the way they exploit my data is at least fairly upfront. Which can't be said of many others.

1
1
Meh

Re: Google worries me - About GeoLocation

Easy to find your approximate location, for majority of users. Almost anyone (in usa especially) can be geolocated from their IP address - anyone who has a large commercial ISP can be easily geolocated as close as town and even city block, at least in the USA. Try these services at GeoBytes as an example - it pinpoints me to within 3 miles or so.

http://www.geobytes.com/IpLocator.htm

1
0

Re: Google worries me

I don't like Facebook but you do need to back up your claim. FB, IMO, have a lot of user but they don't have phones, browsers, and piles of other interlinked devices and software to spy on you.

1
0

Re: Google worries me

I actually have no problem with google doing whatever it wants, its up to the user to decide if they want to use it, my problem is that its not always clear when your getting in to bed with google.

A great example is Chrome, again I have no issue with the browser, I don't use it but that's my choice, however why is it that Chrome sees fit to have its self installed with just about any piece of software you download from the net now a days, with tick boxes that "suggest" you must install this to get the program you want working or recommended settings that also installs it, its this underhand way of getting you installing their stuff that really pisses me off.

Ive lost count of the times relatives computers have had chrome installed with absolutely no knowledge from the user (that's to say the user didn't know what they were agreeing to rather than google doing it by its self!)

Apparently Chrome users are sky rocketing, if my experience is anything to go by then a large chuck of that is probably by users that don't even know what browser they are using.

I know MS has had a monopoly for decades on this but could you imagine the shit storm that would be fired MSs way if it did try it, I mean, Christ, they got in to trouble for using double negatives on your default browser question in 98, that used to get fired up whenever you opened a different browser

1
1

Re: Google worries me

They do have their own drones now. They claim it is to help endangered species but I suspect there is more going on. The species bit is just for testing, IMO.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

"but somehow the weather app that came on my Android tablet knows what town I live in without me telling it..."

Must be a conspiracy. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with checking which base-station / wifi hotspot your tablet is near and then cross referencing this with a database of base-station / wifi hotspot locations...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Google worries me

"A great example is Chrome, again I have no issue with the browser, I don't use it but that's my choice, however why is it that Chrome sees fit to have its self installed with just about any piece of software you download from the net now a days, with tick boxes that "suggest" you must install this to get the program you want working or recommended settings that also installs it, its this underhand way of getting you installing their stuff that really pisses me off."

This has more to do with places like CNET offering 'free' downloads that are actually just other peoples' software installers encased in a crapware wrapper. It used to be that if you downloaded something from download.com it tried to get you to install the Yahoo toolbar, hoping you wouldn't notice the tickbox whilst clicking 'next'. These days it's chrome. They do it because they get paid for each user that installs the crapware and since the actual software the user wants wasn't created by CNET the only real cost to them is in bandwidth.

Not that Google and Yahoo are blameless. If they were really appalled by the practice and only wanted users who hadn't been tricked into installing their software they'd refuse to pay CNET.

0
0
FAIL

Re: Google worries me

That's just IP Geolocation. The databases are public knowledge, every time you connect to a web service you're telling the service provider, roughly, where in the world you are.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Google worries me - About GeoLocation

Please, if GeoIP even gets the right country I'm impressed. Doing Geo IP on my phone will return the same location each time, and never anywhere near where I actually am. Doing it on my home connection shows says that I'm in the Netherlands, and from work it says I'm in Germany.

0
0

The only threat is if you resist.

3
1
Gold badge

Is this growth or just re-assignment?

Zero to 500 million would be growth, but I suspect that 499 million (or more) were already with Gmail and are now on G+ simply because Google bolted a G+ account onto the side of their existing customers. So there would be no growth at all there, just paper (or button) pushing bureaucracy.

7
2

Re: Is this growth or just re-assignment?

Indeed. Millions of people "hanging out in Gmail" (i.e. having the browser open to read your email) is some kind of endorsement of Google+ ? I wonder whether he really believes what he's saying or just better at saying such things with a straight face than most.

1
2
Headmaster

Re: Is this growth or just re-assignment?

I believe it means the Google Hangout feature - which lets you do a multiple webcam chat ala "Skype".

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Is this growth or just re-assignment?

If you believe that then you didn't read what he said carefully enough. If Google+ genuinely starts to be successful the tone of press releases will change and we'll get real numbers against real services. This is clearly just bluster.

3
1
Meh

I deleted my Google+

Didn't use it. It's an awful experience.

I use Facebook, but block everything they try and throw at me.

0
2

Re: I deleted my Google+

I've tried using Facebook... at first, I used their services normally. After a change or two in their privacy policy (and a few irritating picture deletions), I stopped uploading images. Then, I started using FB in a 'private session', deleting all the cookies, etc., after I'd logged in. When that stopped working (I forget exactly, I think it was a Flash cookie or similar), I started using a browser in a frozen virtual machine (it reset everything when I closed it), but that was a huge pain. I used the mobile app until it started reading my text messages. At this point, the only way I interact with it is through email.

Google+ may suck, but at least it's better than Facebook. Not a rousing approval, but still. No one can say that they don't use Google because they swipe information from you, and still be able to use Facebook. I mean, seriously - when was the last time Google used your face to promote businesses you've never heard of?

6
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I deleted my Google+

> Google+ may suck, but at least it's better than Facebook.

As in "Syphilis may suck, but at least it's better than AIDS"? That's a great endorsement

Ever thought of just reading a good book, or watching a film, instead?

0
1
Anonymous Coward

What he didn't mention is that all of those active logins are just people logging in to cancel the flippin spam emails they send out every week.

0
2
Trollface

Ah AC, do you have an example? I've been using G+ from an early invite and I've never gotten any spam about it.

Then again your posting as AC so I suspect trolling is afoot.

3
0
Gold badge

No, spamming is what caused me to kill my G+ account (Along with not being Spartacus, I'm also no the AC above though). Suddenly I started getting emails from Google with 'the top ten stories on Google +'. Nothing relating to any minor activity I'd ever had on there.

Well that was a reminder that I'd signed up to it, liked the interface, but no-one else was on there. So after getting a couple of these crappy emails in a couple of days, I committed suiGooglycide. Turns out you can have a Gmail account without G+, if you press the right set of buttons.

4
1

spam from +

I plonked a profile on G+ moderately early on after it got opened to the public but have never received any spam (even the "top 10 stories" stuff).

Removing G+ is apparently done via https://plus.google.com/u/0/downgrade - available in your privacy settings

1
0
Gold badge

Re: spam from +

I got my G+ account during the invite only period. Don't know if that means the default settings were different then, or I failed to untick a box that asked them to send me pointless emails.

The people who rabidly defend Google + seem to see it as an interesting place to talk with people they don't know, about interesting stuff, more than they see it as a social network. Which might explain why Google were sending out those emails. But they just annoyed me.

If my family preferred G+ to Facebook I'd be extremely happy. The only thing I use FB for is to keep up with them, and see pictures of the kids. I'm not really a social networking sort of chap. The Facebook UI is horrible, confusing, and seems to change every month. G+ is much nicer, and easier to use.

2
0

Re: spam from +

That's one of the things I don't get about facebook people. Didn't you use email before? CC's work fine if you want to communicate with a bunch of people. It really is not difficult to attach pictures to email, or imbed links to pictures.

0
1
Gold badge

Re: spam from +

I totally disagree with you. I also think you've rather missed the point of Facebook. And I don't even like it. I'd send out emails to people, but then I wouldn't communicate that amount of stuff.

However if my Sister-in-law wants to put 35 photos of her kids and their friends enjoying a birthday party that's fine. And why shouldn't she. It's a much more efficient way of distributing that amongst the parents of those kids that she's friends with. Rather than sending out 10-20 emails with 35 pictures on each. We'd soon need more bandwidth...

This way, she puts it all on FB, and people can look at their own kid's piccies, and make comments about how cute they are. I can come along every few months and see a selection of cute pictures of my nephews and sis-in-law has had a place to easily communicate with her friends. Everyone's a winner. Until Facebook do something horrible with all her data anyway...

Alternatively she'd have to write a separate email to each parent, with their portion of piccies, a bit of text, and send it all off - taking up lots of time and bandwidth.

It's one thing to not enjoy that sort of thing (I agree), or to raise legitimate concerns about privacy (I also agree), but another to say that people aren't enjoying something that' they patently are.

The thing I don't get about many El Reg commentards is how they can't understand that other people like/use/need different things than they do.

5
3

Re: spam from +

on the other hand: the g+ Android app... If I ever catch the fucker who designed that, I'll never have to worry about rent again...

0
0

G+ for Picassa shares

I tried a similar path and then realised that I needed an occasional G+ account for when a few (only 2 of my mates are on it regularly - and of them post the same message to fB as well so technically its only one silly sod who posts to G+) friends share their pictures. For whatever reason, their Picasa (or whatever its called now) photo shares requires a G+ account to view (forget about commenting... just view!) Only way I can see is if I download the individual pics from the email link directly... which is fine for a few pictures but a PITA for larger albums... bugger....

so I have a G+ account just for this :(

0
0
Anonymous Coward

LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

The clear pretense is that Google+ is direct competition to Facebook (which is handy for page hits, as every loves to create interesting fights and generate ad-revenue).

That assumption is fatally flawed (as anyone that's genuinely used Google+ knows). Google+ is to me, the best bits of Twitter, the best bits of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and MySpace..

As if you add yourself to the right circles, it's FAR more engaging than any of them (or all of them combined).. Google have created the perfect social network.

http://www.slideshare.net/gideonro/shared-interest-graph-11874142

4
3
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

Most. Apt. Title. Ever.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re (as anyone that's genuinely used Google+ knows).

Ah, only true Google+ users know it's power! If you used it and didn't like it you're obviously not a Genuine User!

You were holding Google+ wrong.

6
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

>> Google+ is to me, the best bits of Twitter, the best bits of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and MySpace.<<

Wow, the best bits of them combined! And still people say Google+ is shit! Who would have thought it?!

7
2
Trollface

Re: LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

Personally, I think this speaks volumes for social media. All the best bits and it's still crap? Sounds about right to me...

1
1
Silver badge
Stop

Re: LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

> the best bits of them combined! And still people say Google+ is shit!

Come on, give him credit. Not many people would pick through five turds looking for the best bits before starting to polish.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

I agree with your criticism of the article not so sure of the rest. I think Google+, or just the Google account's most significant impact is as a gatekeeper function - effectively every one of those 1 million Android activations per day are new Google+ accounts. Even if these users never use the "social" stuff, Google is already winning the mobile game with them every time the browse the Play store. I don't use much of the other Google services such as mail or calendar but I think Google has got data protection largely right - even if the data they collect from my use of the store or Google maps is anonymous it's still very valuable and not just for the dreaded ads - even from the anonymous data they probably already know that I never click on the adverts - but they know more and more about the kinds of services (what, when and where) I use.

Back to the gatekeeper function - because it's at the heart of Android it's pretty seamless so users are blissfully unaware of it: additional features just become available and the more those services resemble things I want to use, the more likely I am to use them or miss them when they are no longer available. It's a long game but I am genuinely impressed by how Google is going about this: I'm being sucked in without being aware of it precisely because so little has Google+ plastered all over it.

2
0

Re: LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

I use it. It's not too bad, because it doesn't have many users. If everyone comes over from Twitter and Facebook, G+ will be just as bad. It's already slipping.

0
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.