Chris Umiastowski

I can’t help but notice that Google+ is gaining momentum, and Android is a big part of the cause. My own use of Google+ is up since switching to Android about a month ago, but it’s also clear that the network is growing globally. Late last month at a special event to announce new features, Google disclosed that Google+ has seen 58 percent growth in its user base, from 190 million in May to a current level of 300 million.

Most industry observers know that Facebook is king of the hill — some 1.19 billion monthly active users (pdf) as of September 2013 — when it comes to social networking. But I have to wonder if Google will catch up over time. I wasn’t optimistic on Google+ when it first launched. I didn’t see the need for another social network.  And to be honest, I still don’t.  But Google is growing because of its strategic moves, by making Google+ an integral part of everything, nearly as much as search.

And Android is a big part of this. One simple example is having my pictures all automatically backed up to my Google+ account. On a broader level, Google is pushing everyone to have a Google+ account to do pretty much anything from commenting on YouTube to use Hangouts. The more we access Google services from mobile phones, the more Android is helping Google+ to grow.

Moto G

On a hardware level, the new Moto G is fascinating to me, too. Starting at $179 unsubsidized (and topping out at just $20 more) nobody is going to say it has top-drawer specs. But for the money it has amazing specs that people moving up to a smartphone for the first time (or upgrading a 3-year old smartphone) would absolutely love. In this price range Apple and BlackBerry don’t compete, and Nokia barely does at the very low end of its Windows Phone portfolio. The more Google pushes good quality hardware out with low pricing, the more Android continues to grow, which helps push Google+ use even higher.

Advancing Google+ and introducing a new, low-cost smartphone could prove a winner for Google.

And I suspect Google+ will be very sticky. Teenagers can decide to abandon Facebook because they’d rather use Snapchat, or whatever the latest craze is.  But if you want to use Google services, you’re pretty much sucked into having a Google+ account. I realize this irritates people initially.  But they’ll get over it. When I put my investor hat on, I still prefer Google to Facebook (despite being optimistic on both companies)

The world is going almost entirely Mobile, and Google is doing a really solid job of integrating Google+ into the mobile experience.  I think Google has a pretty good track record for making its services so compelling that we actually want to use them anyway, If they keep upping their game with Google+ I suspect we’ll be looking at continued profitable growth for the Mountain View giant over the next decade.

Just think ... the more people use Google+, the more valuable data Google collects and can use to help advertisers target ads to the right people. The more effective the ads are, the more Google can charge. 


Reader comments

Stock Talk: Android and Google+ driving profitable growth


Every time Facebok changes their privacy policies, or the layout, or does something obnoxious and annoying people raise a stink... then get on with their lives and using Facebook. Some few will quit, but most stick with it and the service continues to grow.
The same thing applies with Google+. While people kvetch about the YouTube integration or other service integrations, ultimately very few will actually stop using the services. With YouTube now more popular among teens than Facebook (and so many Facebook posts leading to YouTube) Gogle+ will continue to gain traction.
Google+, like Android itself, is proof that Google is in this for the long haul. I see more and more companies noting that their Facebook subscribership has been passed by their G+ subscribership. It's not happening everywhere, but it's increasingly frequent.

The big difference for me personally is I never trusted FB with anything not public from the start. Google has access to information I consider more sensitive than anything I would put on FB. As painful as it is, as google changes I am moving my services I consider more private to other providers.

Google isn't making your private information public (unlike FB with their data leaks).
They did get hacked by the NSA in Britain, but when the NSA is hacking you, there's not a whole lot you can do about that (aside from call for the dissolution of the NSA).
I still trust my personal information with Google over any other group on the internet.

Yet. They keep taking steps down a slippery slope. When the founders step down and the bean counters run Google what will keep them for using the information they collect today any way they want.

What slippery slope is that? What are they going to do with it? More to the point, what are they going to do with it that's any worse than what the rest of the internet is doing?

Let me just say the ONLY reason Google+ is getting more attention is because it's being forced, FORCED, upon people. If you try to comment on a video w/o a G+ account, it will pop up a big square that basically says "You need a G+ account to comment on Youtube". And that's the FIRST problem. Why do I NEED a G+ account to common on YOUTUBE???

After that, many a MANY people _STILL_ won't even use G+. Like me, they'll probably just create a PAGE and use that PAGE to comment as you can name the page whatever you want, or at least I'm guessing.. I've seen some ridiculous names.

All in all, I actually do like the new comments section. I just DO NOT want it to SPECIALLY CATER to G+ members first, or even REQUIRE a G+ account. So really, I guess I should just say I like the new look of the comments, it's pretty sleek.

Google is coercing people to do what they do not want to do. Google is the new Microsoft - including a similar army of defenders that see nothing wrong with what they do.
There is a lot more liability with using Google+ too. Google have removed full Gmail accounts for arguably violating G+ terms. That danger don't exist for non-G+ Gmail users.
Therefore the only option left for those not interested into joining G+ if doing exactly what they don't want: creating fake accounts for entering comments in YouTube and the Play Store. If the account is deleted not much is lost.

>"On a broader level, Google is pushing everyone to have a Google+ account to do pretty much anything from commenting on YouTube to use Hangouts."

Exactly. So it is getting harder and harder for even non-Android users who DO NOT want anything to do with Google+ (or Facebook, or whatever) to avoid such systems. I very much oppose Google locking up all its services behind quasi-mandatory Google+ usage. I am waiting for the day when we can't look at a map or Gmail without being "signed in" to Google+...

I "get" that a whole lot of people like this big-brother type social networking, and that is OK. But I wish those people also understood the other side of the equation.

Yes, my goodness, so horrible to have to have a Google account to use Google's services... Wait, what?

If you want to set up a separate Google account for Youtube, Gmail, etc... You can.

Get over it.

Exactly. Google (a private business) is offering free services such as Gmail, Maps, and YouTube. In order to participate, you must create a Google+ account. If you do not like these terms, you are free to use a different service for your needs.

Youtube was being offered before Google bought it. We had Youtube accounts before G+ even existed. Why did Google create a G+ account for me just because I had 6+ year old Youtube account? I don't want a G+ account and don't need it to use the same service I've been using for years.

The fact that people are ok with whatever Google wants to do just because the service is "free" simply baffles me.

Exactly, YouTube is a social service, it would make no sense at all if the DIDN'T integrate it.. it's completely logical, i would do exactly the same if i where Google

Posted via Android Central App

Like I said:

"But I wish those people also understood the other side of the equation."

Guess I should expect as much here.

Creation of a G+ account doesn't mean you HAVE to use it to use the other services. But some people, who are social network users, will find themselves taking a peek because they have it now, so why not? And this will win more and more of those social network users over.

I like the idea of one sign-up for every service a company has to offer. I'm not being forced to use them all, but as I use more and more, I don't have to create more accounts, or go through an arbitrary linking process.

Totally agree. Dont understand what the fuss about creating a g+ acocunt is. Its 1 button i f you already have a gmail account and like you said you dont HAVE to use the service. Anyone complaining about this I would Bet is most likely over 40, stuck in their ways, and not too tech savy, just too stubborn to change. I could be wrong, maybe, but this is the demographic that i see mostly bitching about it.

That may be your experience, kinda a broad stroke you are taking at my generation though. We 40 somethings are still the creators and tenders to tech that most tend to take for granted. Most of your lead designers range from 20's to 50's. Software and hardware evolve so quickly that anyone who tries to stand still gets left behind. Tech does not have a specific demographic overall. Tech spans generations in my experience, and there is room for all of us. I am 40 and have been an avid gamer, maker, tinkerer, and gadget freak since I was a child. These days I only show my age by purchasing and maintaining a garage-arcade of just pinball machines :)

I personally love G+ for all the other aspects of the integrated services aside from the social network. I do find that G+ also fosters healthy intelligent conversations by not allowing people to hide behind anonymous accounts (yes I know it can still be done).

-take care

I can live with some people being unable to understand complex topics. After all the neurological part that deals with understanding the consequence if your acts doesn't develop until late in your 20s.
For those who can, you need to realize that joining Google Plus has risks that you don't face when you don't. Including having Google disabling your access to your Gmail account. See slashdot dot org/story/155244

There is also people that have problems copying with moderation. So they cannot tolerate other people that wish to use only some of the services (opposed to all or nothing) and, while face with these argument always prescribe a radical/extremist solution like hiding under a stone with a tinfoil hat. However, mature audiences know that compromises are not only possible, but also good for you.

The other side of the equation being that Google uses that information to sell advertising? Yeah. People get that. EVERYONE on the internet does it, from Google and Facebook to Apple and Microsoft. In case you hadn't noticed, the internet is chock full of advertising. I'd rather see ads that are keyed to me than ads that aren't.

THIS!!! We are going to see ads. period, its just a fact. Why not at least let them be somewhat relevent to your interests? Makes sense to me.

Because EVEN WITH Google's oh-so Special Adsense or w/e the fuck... I have never, within the many, many, many years I've been using the internet or Youtube, NEVER, seen ONE AD that interested me, at all.

I'm not a big social media user, and I never click ads, but I CONSTANTLY see targeted Google ads. When I spent several months researching headphones I started to see ads about that, now I've spent months researching a high end interchangeable lens camera and I've been seeing ads about that.

I don't even use Gmail for my bills and logins (Iuse an old Yahoo account for that and gmail for personal stuff), but I still see tons of obviously targeted ads. I imagine it's largely based around cookies, data sharing between companies, etc.

Full marks, excellent comment. I find myself amused or interested in many of the ads I see. People who complain about  them are free to skip the free service being offered to them.

The better data these guys have, the more accurate I can target ads to people for products.  And the less likely the audience will be annoyed. That's awesome.

You already can't look at Gmail or your map starred places without being logged in to your Google account.

I guess what you (and other ppl with similar complains) don't get, is that there's no such thing as a G+ account. There's your Google account and that's all there's! Gmail, voice, calendar, maps activities, photos, search history, youtube activity, drive, etc always been integrated into your Google account. And you always had to be logged in to your Google account to comment on YouTube. And nothing changed from this perspective.

What they changed was cut the redundancy of having two user profiles inside the same Google account.

For ppl that don't want or like the "big-brother type social networking" like you, remember that G+ usage is not mandatory, the mandatory is the Google account, and your user profile can be completely empty that no one will bother you.

Are you an Android user? How many devices do you have? Do you have multiple devices?
If you are an Android user, surely you will understand the incredible benefits signing into your account on your phone gives you.
1) Seamless contacts backup and synchronisation. Don't like editing many contacts on the phone? Do it on the PC and watch it mirror on your phone.
2) Personalised results in every single service you use.

These 2 huge benefits, of course, spawns many other smaller ones.

If you use many services, and only own one Android device, can you imagine how painful it is to sign into Gmail, Hangouts, Maps, Now, Plus, YouTube etc etc? Multiply that by N, where N is the number of devices (any platform, their services are pretty much cross-platform) you have, and you will soon find it a pain in the ass. Just as any iOS user. I personally have 2 Android devices and 3 computers. I CANNOT imagine signing into individual accounts for all of them. I WILL go crazy.

Get it?

It's not "locking up behind a quasi-mandatory Google+". Google+ IS Google. Google is Google+. Learn to adapt or fall behind. Your Google account is your Google+ account. Your Google+ account is your Gmail account. Seriously, what the heck is the problem here? All you have to do is press "Join Google+". Whether you use it actively immediately after is beyond question. It's not like Google asked you to create an all-new account for Google+. I don't understand you people.

And please don't be fooled by other people into BS big-brother-type social networking. Google has, since X time ago, been using data to target ads. Overlaying Google+ on top just makes people compare FB (which is utter rubbish, btw) to G+. Obviously people are severely mistaken.

Good reply.

But it doesn't matter if it is "Google account ver 2" or "Google+". Not every service should require being "signed in" with some master account to use it (or perhaps use important parts of it). And that is exactly the direction this is all heading. And tying it in with social features MAKES it a social network; whether they are trying to be a Facebook or not.

Does Google have the right to do it? Of course! Does it have advantages? Of course! But there are negatives too, and people seem to gloss right over those, or dismiss them as imaginary issues mattering only to people who are paranoid. There is no shortage of condescending attitudes or just complete indifference.

"Not every service should require being "signed in" with some master account to use it"
There are two ways to look at this statement.
1. You don't have to use the same account for all of these services. Set up a different account for each. Done.
2. If you're objecting to signing in at all... to that I say "tough luck toots". You don't have to be logged into a Google Account for something like YouTube or Maps, but good luck using the others without an account, it's simply not feasible.

So what are all these disadvantages that everyone is missing?

Map asks me to sign on every time I start it on ios. I never sign on to it there. I just assume my Nexus 4 is automatically signed in. Guess which one I use to look up someplace embarrassing that I have to go to?

Signing out of Maps on Android is pretty straightforward. Settings>Switch Account>Sign Out

It doesn't ask you to sign in to Maps in future sessions either.

You'd think an actual Android user to know this already, been there from day one, betting the poster is your typical iOS troll

"Not every service should require being "signed in" with some master account to use it"

and it really doesn't let's think:

- search for places or get routes in the map
- translate text into other languages
- watch videos
- search the web.

None of those you need to be signed in.
You only need to be signed in for stuff that is personal to you and your data, let's make examples parallel to the previous:

- starred places on the map
- saved translations
- comment on the video
- check your search history.
And add to that e-mail, calendar, contacts, photos, files, etc.

Makes sense?

I disagree. It is not a good reply. Actually, this is very wrong:

"Google+ IS Google. Google is Google+"

I would like to see the reference to a Google official page claiming that the above is true.

The terms of service are more restrictive when you join Google+. You are commiting to specific terms and granting Google the rights to delete your full Google account if you don't abide to the new more restrictive terms.

Otherwise, why would Google take the effort to ask you to join to Plus if the statement above were correct?

From a technical point of view there might be little difference, but from a legal point of view there is.

Google is forcing Google+ on users for doing things as simple as commenting on Youtube videos or rating apps. I think it is funny the reasons they give as far as using your real name or whatever for better comments. That doesn't work at all. My Google+ account is just as fake as it was before. It is simply a place holder to use the other services I want that also have fake credentials. It isn't surprising their numbers are growing. I am sure they love those numbers when negotiating for advertising contracts.

I would love to know how many people use Google+ because they want to.

But, Google's services I do use are free and if I have to suffer through the Google+ BS I guess I am fine with it. The alternatives are not better and I would rather have an idle, useless Google+ account than have to pay a fee for Youtube, Gmail, etc..

google should have done this a long time ago... then people wouldnt complain.

Google+ is version 2 of your old Google profile. its you and your social aspect.

it makes absolute sense to use G+ for comments because u r commenting and G+ shows who you are.

previously u comment with channels and multiple channels can comment as well. its one person commenting with multiple names

Do you have a FB account? Is it fake? Think about it.

FYI, just click the What's Hot button to look at the stream. That is how many people that use Google+ because they want to. Now either get out of your cave and realise the world is not as small as what you perceive it to be, or continue staying in there and stop complaining.

No, I don't have Facebook. Why doesn't AC require a Google+ login? I'd love to see what happens to the users of this site if that happened and this site has more Google fanboys than probably any other.

"Why doesn't AC require a Google+ login?"
Because AC isn't owned by Google.

Having to have a Google login for Google services is pretty logical and reasonable. Heck a login isn't required for some of the services (Maps, YouTube, Android). Quit crying like such a baby.

but if you want you can login on AC using your Google account (note that I said Google account, not G+, because that's what it is)

I'm fine with what Google is doing with integrating Google+ into everything. It's Google's systems and their development and if they want to have their users signed in to Google+ that's all part of it I suppose. I don't need a foil hat to use social networking although I do understand some of the risks and loss of privacy involved. But the same people that are stressing about loss of privacy are also using Google Now with their GPS turned on. I guess it's okay when it fits the agenda but it's wickedness otherwise.

I have to say though that if Google IS going to force everyone to use Google+ for everything, it's kind of pathetic to then turn around and boast about an increase in user base.

With social media, you ONLY lose the privacy that you give away. Google will never know that you had sex with a warm apple pie unless you tell it that you did (or post pictures).

These are Google's services, you get email, office software, unlimited video channels and uploads, a flexible phone number with unlimited texting, huge amounts of photo and music storage, a free mobile OS and on and on for a grand total of.... Zero Dollars. All Google asks is that you connect the accounts so they can sell advertising. And if you don't want to connect the accounts, you can set up a separate account for each one.

In short, please don't have sex with warm apple pies.

Oh thank heavens that Google is doing well financially! Stock talk?! Did I get Google stock with the purchase of my Android phone? Cuz I didn't realize I was supposed to give a fck.

if you like Google products and services you want them doing well financially - regardless if you own their stock or not. you still want them running, paranoid, hungry, and innovating (not fat and happy) - but you also want them doing well financially. otherwise you end up with a blackberry.

Another way that it is growing is YouTube shoving it down everyone's throats.

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In what ways? I am not a YouTube user. Nothing YouTube related shows up in my use of gmail, Android, etc.

I would LOVE for even stricter integration and enforcement. The trolls there are shit. Oh, how I wish they made all previous comments have the name "An Internet user", like what they did with Play Store reviews when the integration with G+ happened.

I was just reading an article about g+. And suddenly the next sentence " On a hardware level, the new Moto G is fascinating to me, too." What!? That was a fun start of the paragraph :-)

you may now quit reading my post-Post forum signature:-)

Yeah, not well written, the bridge connecting that thought to the rest of the article was not as clear as it could have been.

If you are a serious or even semi-serious photographer and want to upload them to share at full size, Google+ really wins hands down. Once you have tons of pictures and need to search through them, Facebook just can't compete. I easily search for "my pictures of the Great Wall" on Google+. Doing the same on Facebook brings me to an ad for a local Chinese restaurant.

Also, "Auto-Awesome" has a dumb name but produces some outstanding pictures.

So, even if you don't "socialize" on Google+, but only use it to store and maybe share pictures with your family, it's a win.

If by momentum you mean being tied to a truck and dragged into traffic, then yeah, okay, I guess. People already dislike Facebook and they're there by choice. Very few people are on g+ because they want to be. That makes for a very lethargic and devalued social network.

I have no real g+ account or presence. I do not exist there, despite claims that I do. My main account was disabled for not being 'real'. When I absolutely must have a g+ account I use burner email with a fake name and everything possible hidden. G+ has no value to me, and the more evidence I see makes me feel that momentum is gaining for that feeling.

Posted via Android Central App

"Very few people are on G+ because they want to be"

I'd like to see some supporting basis for that claim.

I would agree that some are there because they got dragged there by YouTube, but I wouldn't go so far as to say "Very few" without having some real statistics to back it up.

Google controls any such statistics, so anything non-anecdotal will never see the light of day. I personally know nobody on g+. Other than Android centric communities it is invisible. Outside your circle of enthusiasts no one really cares. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.

Posted via Android Central App

Anecdotal evidence is always "overwhelming", that's why anyone with half a brain knows that "anecdotal evidence" is an oxymoron. It's not evidence, it's an anecdote.

If you don't know anyone on G+, then sure, using it doesn't make sense for you. I know a lot of people on G+, there are strong Android/Chrome/Google communities, there are also strong beer communities, homebrewing communities, HUGE photography communities, gaming communities, Star Wars communities... It's not just a small group of enthusiasts.

Totally anecdotal but... I'm a huge geek and yet I don't use Google+ much because non of my non-techie 30-something friends use it. I use it on occasion to check out a few interesting industry people I follow, and I intend to use it more for photos (if I can just rope a few more close friends and immediate family into it), but as it stands I don't use it a lot.

HOWEVER, my sister who's younger (20s) and who used to use FB a lot more actually used G+ a ton now days. She's not nearly the geek that I am, though she's gotten into photography lately, but her G+ use had spiked even before that. I think there's a whole bunch of people out there that aren't geeks or even Android users who ARE into G+ just because it's an alternative.

Maybe they got pissed at one of FB's big changes, or they like something better about G+, or they simply treat it as two distinct communities like my sister does (G+ seems to be more personal for her, closer friends etc). Heck I've noticed my FB list is predominantly old high school friends that I don't really talk to (save for a scant few). Sure I can go in and make groups and filters and stuff, most people don't tho.

It's not like there isn't a precedent for one generation or two shifting social networks, Myspace anyone? It's not like there aren't some things that Google+ genuinely does better than FB (photos, circles are more intuitive, etc). So to say that very few people would willingly use it without any numbers or logic is simply a strawman argument.

Oh and at the end of the day, if you actually care about FB then you should be glad Google's trying to compete. Competition always benefits the consumer, neither iOS nor Android would've matured as rapidly if competition wasn't so strong.

So a G+ account's auto created for your Google account, so what? You can fill it with fake into, you don't have to use it, you can ignore it completely. I fail to see the big downside here. If you take issue with social media that's fine, just because you have an account that's tied to it doesn't mean you have to participate tho.

Did you ever feel obligated to use your library card just because you got one during a school outing? (maybe I'm dating myself here) Do you feel obligated to drive a car on a daily basis just because you have a license? I sure don't, but it's still darn handy to have a license for identification etc.

One of my Google accounts is joined to Google Plus. My friends added me to their circles and I did the same with them. Still when we communicate it is never done via Google Plus.
I can see how Google had supplemented Groups with Plus, and killed other products like Reader and Latitute just with the hope of getting people like me or my friends to use Plus, however it has not worked. I guess it had worked with your friends. Maybe you receive invitations to family gatherings via Plus instead of Facebook, but that is not my case. My real social network, the one that I care about, the one that existed since much before the internet has not migrated to Google Plus.
For me Google Plus is what other say about it... the social network for nerds.

You obviously don't spend much time on G+. It's a pretty rich community. It has gained a particularly powerful following among photographers, which is no surprise given the tools that Google has built into G+.

Reason why Google+ is growing lately is because in order to place a comment on YouTube, you must either choose to Make a G+ Profile, Merge your current one or create a Google+ Page.

So now more people are making/using G+.

Posted via Android Central App

Wow, really? Gee, it's almost like Google is trying to encourage people to use their services...

Winter is coming. She's quite the screamer.

To reply to your snarky comments to anyone who speaks out against the Google+ integration...

I get where Google is going with this integration. Really, I do. Now that they own Youtube, they want to slowly integrate more of their services, such as Google+, with the site. It's a logical step to take, given the breadth of their services and their tendency to integrate their services anyway.

The problem, I believe, lies in the integration itself. It's inherently BROKEN. For example:

- I have a G+ account, and have linked it with my Youtube account. However, I still can't reply to a comment. Usually, either the Reply button won't show on a comment, or if it does and I click on it, a G+ popup window briefly flashes on the screen, then disappears. So even though I completed the integration, I can't reply to a comment.

- The above happens when you try to comment on a video instead of replying to a comment. So, even if you integrate G+ and Youtube, you STILL can't comment.

- The notifications icon (the bell icon at the top right corner of your Youtube screen) is supposed to inform you of all G+ and Youtube notifications. However, this too is broken. When I click on it, it asks me to sign in to my Google account, even though I'm already logged in. Okay, so I click "sign in"...and nothing happens. No Javascript errors in the Web Console in Firefox or anything. So I don't even receive notifications.

- The comments themselves have no character limit, leading to graphic ASCII images and links (which are now enabled) to malware or p0rn sites. In other words, this does the exact opposite of one reasoning behind the integration - to moderate comments on Youtube.

Like I said, I see WHY Google is doing this, but the integration is incredibly broken. They needed to extensively test-drive this before releasing it to the masses, and they failed to do so. If Google wants this change to go over well, they'll need to fix these issues VERY soon.

P.S. I know you can enable third-party cookies to alleviate some of these issues, but I don't really feel like opening up my system to even more potential attacks just to make Youtube function.

Google+ is growing because Google is forcing people to create accounts to use their services.
I had a problem with it at first but I found you can actually never use the Google+ they forced you to sign up for and at the same time you can keep using all their other services.
They may be able to force people to sign up for their social site but they can't force anyone to use it which, in my opinion, will be the reason why they shutter the service within 5 years.

Posted via Android Central App

There is s Hispanic saying for this:
"You can take the horse to the river, but you can't make it drink."

I have to agree with 70% of the posters above... I don't think its ethical that google is trying to shove a SOCIAL NETWORK down their users throats.

For all you saying otherwise, please come to understand that Google+ is a SOCIAL NETWORK. For you to argue that is it 'google account v2' is just wrong.

Look no further than a Microsoft account. Both companies are taking the "one account for all services" approach. BUT MS isn't shoving a social network down your throat.

I think that's the main argument here and on youtube. A more sophisticated Google account is not the issue, that is great, I see the benefits of having one account for all the services you may ever need.

But to say that it is okay to force users to sign into your Social Network to freakin post a review on an Appstore is ridiculous, Google needs to learn a thing or two about opt-in and opt-out policies.

They could have gone a different route, make people use their GOOGLE account to post reviews, but that's just it, it would have been your Google account/email and nothing else. Not a Social Network where your app review history is on a feed.

The same way it was with youtube before, you had an ID and that was your google account, not a SOCIAL NETWORK account called google+.

"For you to argue that is it 'google account v2' is just wrong."

Except that's EXACTLY what it is. You don't have to sign into the social network to comment on YouTube, you have to sign into your Google account to comment.
The problem is that people like yourself keep looking at Google+ as some separate service or feature. It's not, it's the integration of ALL of Google's services and features. All of your Google account information is in one pool. If you go to Gmail, you'll see that info through one lens. Go to YouTube and you'll see it through another lens. Drive/Docs allows you to see it through a third lens lens. Go to Google+ and you'll see it through yet another lens.

"Not a Social Network where your app review history is on a feed."
Now you're just speaking from pure ignorance. I've never had an app review of mine appear in my feed. NEVER. Ditto YouTube. I just went and reviewed an app and a video, neither is in my feed. If you WANT to post there you can, but you don't have to.

Honestly, if you're this ignorant then just keep your mouth shut.

Would you please illustrate us by including the link to an official Google page supporting your argument?

Nowhere in Google's regular ToS say anything like that. In contrast, your Google V2 accounts (plus) has restrictions that imply that they are not the same. Legally, they are far from being the same.

google dot com/intl/en/policies/terms/

support dot google dot com/plus/answer/1228271?hl=en

I just don't like Google+ and I do not see the point of it, I don't like that they're forcing you to have a profile whether you use it or not.. I don't like coercion of any kind but that's just me. I like literally EVERY OTHER Google service just not Google+ it sucks, but I guess i'll learn to like it.