Signing up for a YouTube or Gmail account? Get ready for a publicly viewable Google+ page, too. While Facebook users are clocking 400 minutes per month on that site, Google+ users spend just three minutes—and Google is trying to change that by making its own social network a little more obligatory, the Wall Street Journal reports. People who use a range of Google services, including writing reviews, are now required to take part in its social network, though it is possible to keep personal pages private.
It was Google CEO Larry Page who pushed for the new integration, insiders tell the Journal. Facebook currently has an advertising advantage in that it links online behavior to people's real names, and it knows who your friends are, too. Google is hoping to get its hands on such information through Google+. Complains one frustrated user: Google is "trying too hard to compete with Facebook, and if people aren't going to share willingly, they'll make them share unwillingly." But the head of Google+ says individual users' data won't be given to advertisers. Nevertheless, says a VP, "Google+ is Google. The entry points to Google+ are many, and the integrations are more every day." (Read more Google Plus stories.)