Google Abandons Anonymous Accounts With New Signup Form
Google is experimenting with a new signup form that eliminates the ability to create anonymous accounts. The new form is part of an effort to expand the Google+ social network by automatically adding every new Google account to Google+. Because Google+ requires a name and gender the new signup form effectively eliminates the anonymous Google account.
The new account creation page can be found by following the links on Google’s homepage. As the Google Operating System blog points out, the older Google account page, which does not require signing up for Google+ or Gmail, is currently still accessible through Google Reader, Calendar and other Google services.
The revamped Google account creation page adds some additional fields to the sign up form, including name and gender which are both necessary for creating a Google+ account. There’s also a new agreement — turned on by default — granting Google permission to “use my account information to personalize +1s on content and ads on non-Google websites.”
In addition to the Google+ integration, signing up for a Google account now means getting a profile page and a Gmail account; gone are the days when you could use an outside email address with your Google account. It is still possible to go in and delete the Google+, Google profile and Gmail portions of your new Google account after it’s been created, but given that few people ever change their default settings it’s safe to assume that most people won’t.
It should come as no surprise that Google is working hard to get more users signed up for Google+, after all, despite marginal momentum, Google+ is far behind Facebook when it comes to signing up new users.