The Google consolidation era is continuing with full force as their latest announcement sees a marriage of Google+ accounts with YouTube. While it’s not quite a synchronization process–this feature appears to be voluntary–the goal is the same. Like it or not, Google is actively building profiles of their users, and consolidating the accounts for their various services only simplifies the process.
If you don’t like Google’s strategy, you can always use Bing, but if you think Google is the only service building profiles of their members, you’re being foolish. Just ask AT&T what they do with all that location data they collect from their mobile phone subscribers. As for the YouTube/Google+ account synchronization process, you get the feeling something like this was in Google’s plans all along while they were creating Google+.
…today we’re adding a feature that lets you sign up for a new YouTube channel using your existing Google+ profile. You can now use your Google+ profile name and photo on a new YouTube channel, giving you one consistent identity across platforms when uploading videos, sharing, commenting and other public activities.
It should be noted that users are not required to link their accounts, something the blog post is quite adamant about:
If you want to create a YouTube channel that’s different from your Google+ profile (e.g. “KatnissForPresident”), click “Create a username,” and you’ll have the option to create a YouTube channel as usual.
With that in mind, is this Google being evil or just offering users a way to streamline their online activities? Let us know what you think. Since we’re talking about Google+ and watching videos on YouTube, something Google proudly says is available already to Google+ members when using the “Hangout” feature, the following commercial seems somewhat appropriate: