Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Google Play Store reviews now include your Google+ ID, photo

Eschewed Google+ until now? If you want to post Google Play reviews, that is going to have to change.

Google Play Store reviews will no longer be anonymous -- or at least, fairly anonymous. Starting on Tuesday, Google has changed its Play website so that reviews can only be posted if a user is logged into Google+. Then, the user's actual information from their Google+ account will be used, including their name and picture.

The change has already been confirmed on the Play website, but it's rolling out gradually to devices, so you can expect it to hit your Google Play app anytime soon.

Since the change can't be done retroactively, the names on previous reviews appear as "A Google User" (seen above). It's just another example of Google adding more oomph to its Google+ service. The more places that Google+ is used, the better for Google.

It will also remove any temptation for web trolls to light up an app with fake reviews, either positive or negative. However, it also removes any anonymity, and although one might why there would be a need to remain private for a review, the answer is pretty obvious: because privacy online is already somewhat -- if not completely -- fast becoming a thing of the past.

While obviously not something that Google would be aiming for, this might serve as a deterrent to posting reviews -- at all. At this point, only the most popular apps (an example would be Skype) seem to have any reviews with Google+ IDs.  This will, of course, change.

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