You may have noticed that Google+ is showing up in more and more places. Whatever you're trying to do on Google, you'll see Google+ pushed in front of you one way or another.
This has always been the plan and Google's explanation is that Google+ is Google, so, really, nothing has changed.
But that's not what most people would say. More and more users end up setting up a Google+ profile, some not even realizing what exactly they're signing up for.
That's because Google+ is becoming a requirement for more and more of Google's services.
The move isn't universally loved at Google, in fact, quite a few Googlers are worried that the pressure to prop up Google+ ends up hurting all other products.
The push though comes from the top, CEO Larry Page first pushed Google to come up with Google+ and then to have it built into everything else the company does.
Lately, he's been more aggressive about "promoting" Google+ by making it a requirement, the Wall Street Journal reports
For example, user reviews for places and businesses can only be written by people with a Google+ profile. The same goes for app reviews in the Google Play Store
, as of a month or so ago.
New Google users are pushed into creating a Google+ profile as well. Blogger and YouTube users are constantly nagged to link up or "upgrade" their existing profiles to Google+ ones.
While some inside Google may disagree, they don't really have a choice, as Larry Page put it rather bluntly after Google+ was launched, you can add Google+ to whatever you're working on or you can find a new place to work. Page is very keen on everyone at Google having an unified vision: his own.
All of this means Google can report some impressive user numbers, over 500 million Google+ profiles have been created to date. But the number of people that use Google+ is significantly smaller. It remains to be seen whether pushing people to create profiles they don't really want will eventually lead them to use those profiles or not.