Google made its way into the dictionary by taming the world wide web, mapping the thick wilderness of countless webpages and presenting them in a civilized manner. Now Google wants to better track the internet’s users, an area where Facebook already has the upper hand, using Google+ Sign-In.
Google announced today that it will now encourage websites and mobile apps to allow users to log-in using their Google+ credentials. Google hopes this new service will help it to track users as they move from site to site. Google has long allowed users to sign into other sites using their Google accounts, but Google+ Sign-In extends this functionality to mobile apps and offers users more control. Users who sign in with Google+ will be able to choose which circles they choose to share information with, a greater degree of control than Facebook offers users who sign in using its service.
Facebook still has a sizable advantage over Google in tracking users across sites. Facebook introduced Facebook Connect four years ago, allowing Facebook users to access third-party websites, applications, and devices using their Facebook credentials. Over 40 websites accepted Facebook Connect before the end of that year. New websites and applications have since been born that have accepted Facebook credentials from day one.
Google introduced Google+ back in 2011, and the social network grew to have over 100 million active users by the end of 2012. Facebook, on the other hand, has over 1 billion. According to Reuters, Google shrugs off this difference, saying that Google+ serves more as a means of tracking individual users across its various properties than as a popular internet destination. Google+ Sign-In looks to further this interpretation of Google+, but it leaves Facebook as no less of a primary competitor.