Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Google Plus Custom URL's REQUIRE a Mobile No., Check Out GplusTo

Google Plus Custom URL's Are Rolling Out
Google has started hitting the masses with their custom URL rollout for their Google Plus product.  The only catch is if you don't have a mobile phone, you are S.O.L., because at this time, they are requiring that you supply your phone number to them to get an SMS message for security purposes.

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For several months now I've been pestered by my Google service products to "supply my mobile phone number for security purposes."

Here's one of their explanations for such a request:

"Why Google asks for your phone number to verify your account

In an effort to protect our users from abuse, we sometimes ask users to prove they’re not a robot before they're able to create or sign in to accounts. Having this additional confirmation via phone is an effective way to keep spammers from abusing our systems.
"

Why?  Or what if one does not have a mobile number?  Sometimes?

I use passwords and keep track of my passwords. And I never supply my phone number to any service I use.  I don't need to.  And they do not need it.  At least that's my take.  But all my

Over the last few months Google kept trying to get my phone number from me when I log into my Gmail account or other services.  I keep declining.

But now they might have me over the barrel.

They've offered me my very own custom URL in Google+.  Except if I want it, I HAVE TO provide my cell phone number so they can text me.

Bummer.  I was so looking forward to getting and using my custom URL.  Hey Google, Facebook doesn't require this of me.

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As I tooled around under my Google.com Dashboard, it's pretty impressive how busy they've been collating our data, via the tools we use from them.

They know I have two android devices. (So much for telling them I don't have a mobile device!  LOL.  Even if they're off by one.), they think I have 559 contacts in my life.  LMAO.  Google has kept track of any and every single email address that's come and gone through my communication channels.

Side note: OK, that sucks.  There's my dead uncle's email address.  That wasn't a memory I needed to tap into right now. Thanks Google.

I've had 5,397 conversations under Gmail.  I've "plussed one" 217 items over on Google Plus.

They don't have my location history because I disabled it back when they offered that option. What the hell is Orkut?  I have 2,483 images under Picasa*.  Huh, I have 10 recordings under Speech.  Guess I should look into that, since I have no clue.

*Always try to minimize your image footprints (size).  There is a limit to how much data they'll hold for you, for free.  Yes, Google offers pay plans for storage over a certain size. And lighter (smaller in file size) images are a best practice under the old SEO rules.

Not sure why they still have anything from me under iGoogle.  They're smiting that function.

So yep, they've collected quite a bit on my habits.

OH, and on the vanity/custom URLs for Google+, I'm not sure if you noticed the legal speak, but there's a tiny clause in there that says,

"Custom URLs are free for now, but we may start charging a fee for them."

A lot of people can't see that happening, but others can see Google charging for EVERYTHING they offer somewhere down the road.  And on the flip side of that concern, I believe Google has always said that about every service they offer.

And that doesn't stop me from keeping track of the old, original link to my G+ Pages.  You never know when you might need it! (Yes, they still work, regardless of whether you pick a Custom URL or not.)

But if you've been checking in on some of my more constructive observations on what Google has been doing with the search world (Like forcing authors onto G+ if they want any kind of ranking), well, they move in slow and methodical fashion with their plans.

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I'd rather not supply my phone number to Google.  And it looks like they're not answering anyone's questions about the issue over on their G+ support boards.  It's making Gplus.to looking better and better at this rate.

I'm just one guy and my digging in won't matter much I'm sure.  Heck, they probably don't even realize I'm here.  Why?  Because I'm 1 of 540M users of Google products or 1 of 300M Google+ users.  (Yes, M for Million.)

Oh well, I would have enjoyed this new url.

PS:  gplus.to is way too easy to use.  I headed over to see how it works and had a custom url from them in less than a minute.  You can come by and visit me on my personal G+ page via http://gplus.to/BruceSimmons.

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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce