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Getting Gmail? Now you get Google+, too

Google is showing just how far it will go to promote its social networking platform.

It is fairly likely that if you're signing up for a new Google account these days, it is because you would like a Gmail account. Or perhaps you just want to keep track of favorite videos and subscriptions on YouTube.

For some of you, it might be because you want a Google+ account. Well, whether you want one or not, when you sign up for a new Google account these days, you're getting both a Gmail account and a Google+ profile automatically registered to you.

The Google Operating System blog has a rundown based on its own experiment with testing these new requirements, which have not been officially explained or revealed by Google itself.

Actually, this all makes perfect sense, and it is much easier for new users to have everything set up at once rather than having to separately sign up for Gmail and Google+ later. If you're not interested in Google+, no one is forcing you to make friends or create an elaborate profile.

It's also a win for Google as it tries to boost awareness and usage for its social networking platform that debuted last summer. Hype for Google+ has died down considerably over the last few months.

Yet interest in Gmail certainly hasn't. Yesterday during the company's quarterly call with investors, CEO Larry Page revealed that Gmail has more than 350 million active users as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2011.

This item first appeared on ZDNet's Between the Lines blog under the headline "New Google accounts automatically register users for Gmail, Google+."