The days of reviews written by Android customers hiding behind an alias have come to an end, as Google is beginning to require users to have a Google+ account before they can post their opinions about movies, TV shows, apps and more on Google Play.
From here on out, all feedback will be marked with the author's name listed on their Google+ account along with their profile picture. All reviews written prior to the new Google+ requirement are now authored by "A Google User" instead of the previous listed aliases.
Of course, this movement won't stop die-hard spammers from creating a bogus Google+ account to spread their negativity across Google Play. But forcing users to reveal themselves not only makes the Google storefront a more social place, but a seemingly more legit place to read media reviews. Maybe it will even help cut down the number of fake reviews used to pump up staggering app scores.
Google's move to integrate Google+ profiles with Google Play follows a similar stance the company used with YouTube back in June. Although not forced like the Google Play reviews, YouTube users now have the option of stripping their YouTube account of their former aliases and using the name listed on their Google+ account. This supposedly makes it easier for friends and family to find content uploaded by the user.
"This will give you more options for how your videos are seen and discovered on YouTube," said John Fisher, Software Engineer at YouTube. "However, we realize that using your full name isn’t for everyone. Maybe people know you by your YouTube username. Perhaps you don’t want your name publicly associated with your channel. To continue using your YouTube username, just click “I don’t want to use my full name” when you see the prompt."
So far there doesn't seem to be any indication that Google Play users will be able to opt out of the Google+ requirement when leaving feedback. Still, this social integration should be beneficial to the Android community, as developers can contact customers directly to work out software issues listed in the review.
Google+ users uncomfortable with the entire Google community looking at their profile page can always edit the information and choose what others can and cannot see.