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THE NEW MEANING OF +1 ... ARE YOU WILLING TO MAKE YOUR ENDORSEMENT PART OF AN ADVERTISEMENT? (Update)

Update 10/13/13: Many Google users are changing their profile pictures to Google's Eric Schmidt -- some with rude words over the face that cannot be used in an advertisement. See more of the story HERE

Original Post ...

You like a product and want to show your support for the company that produced or sold the product – but does that mean that you want your name used as an “unpaid” endorser of the product? Especially if the product or service is later associated with future adverse consequences or events?

Google’s latest Terms of Use modifications provide that Google can access user information from YouTube, reviews, and other Google sources in order to allow advertisers to offer “endorsements” for goods, services, and causes.

What Google is actually saying …

How your Profile name and photo may appear (including in reviews and advertising)

We want to give you – and your friends and connections – the most useful information. Recommendations from people you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your Profile name and photo, and content like the reviews you share or the ads you +1’d. This only happens when you take an action (things like +1’ing, commenting or following) – and the only people who see it are the people you’ve chosen to share that content with. On Google, you’re in control of what you share. This update to our Terms of Service doesn’t change in any way who you’ve shared things with in the past or your ability to control who you want to share things with in the future.

Feedback from people you know can save you time and improve results for you and your friends across all Google services, including Search, Maps, Play and in advertising. For example, your friends might see that you rated an album 4 stars on the band’s Google Play page. And the +1 you gave your favorite local bakery could be included in an ad that the bakery runs through Google. We call these recommendations shared endorsements and you can learn more about them here.

When it comes to shared endorsements in ads, you can control the use of your Profile name and photo via the Shared Endorsements setting. If you turn the setting to “off,” your Profile name and photo will not show up on that ad for your favorite bakery or any other ads. This setting only applies to use in ads, and doesn’t change whether your Profile name or photo may be used in other places such as Google Play.

If you previously told Google that you did not want your +1’s to appear in ads, then of course we’ll continue to respect that choice as a part of this updated setting. For users under 18, their actions won’t appear in shared endorsements in ads and certain other contexts.

For greater control over your experience with ads on Google, you can also use Google’s Ads Settings tool to manage ads you see. Learn more.

What it may look like …

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How to opt-in …

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opt-in

You can opt-in to the advertising program by visiting the Endorsements Page. 

Bottom line …

There is an old saying in the internet industry, if you look around at those free services and products and cannot imagine how they are making money, you are the product being sold. In most cases, your unpaid endorsement of a product, service, company, or cause is a welcome addition that helps people discover, select, and purchase with some degree of assurance that someone has vetted their purchase. However, if you are a “brand name” or celebrity, you may wish to restrict your endorsements to paid gigs or sparingly to avoid brand dilution.

For most people, this is simply more of a crowd-sourced recommendation that is becoming normal and customary on the interwebs.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS

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