Google Play bids adieu to anonymous reviews

Google+ profiles are being merged with Google Play reviews, which will no longer be graced -- or cursed -- with the cover of anonymity.

Charlie Osborne Contributing Writer
Charlie Osborne is a cybersecurity journalist and photographer who writes for ZDNet and CNET from London. PGP Key: AF40821B.
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It used to be that if you wanted to post a review of a book, game, or app in the Google Play store, you could do so as an anonymous user. Now, however, any review you write will be publicly linked to your Google+ name and picture.

Google Play users need to sign in -- or join up -- with a Google+ account to post a review. Of course, this can't be done retrospectively, so your name on previous reviews appears as "A Google User."

The integration of Google+ profiles and Google Play means that users can no longer fire off negative or fake reviews without linking their personal profiles to a written contribution. However, as there is also no option to turn off the feature, this step in accountability means that potentially people may be less keen to write reviews, which could be a boon or a curse, depending on how you've felt about fake, anonymous comments.

The update has taken place on the Web version and on some smartphones, and we can expect it to roll out fully to the mobile Google Play store app soon.

A Google spokesperson recently told CNET that the number of apps available for Android now totals about 700,000. In addition, a new licensing deal made public this month has resulted in 5.5 million new songs being added to the tech giant's European music collection.