Google wants to use your beautiful smile as an advertisement. Following updated terms of service, the search giant stipulates it can sell any adult users’ name, photos and comments in ads across the Internet. Google is doing this for anyone that writes a glowing rating, review or post on Google Plus and YouTube. Facebook’s own terms of service allows the social networks to pull the same stunt.
The new ad policy isn’t set to go live until Nov. 11, but once it does, Google will begin showing what it refers to as “shared endorsements.” Your own positive review can potentially show up on a site you visit, and may infiltrate into some of the two million sites under the search giant’s ad network. Google does give users the choice to opt out of the new endorsement policy, and anyone under the age of 18 are automatically exempt.
The goal of the new feature is Google’s way of spreading positive feedback through “word of mouth,” which can be a powerful tool in attracting attention to a product or company. Still, while it may be neat to see a friend’s endorsement show up in an ad, it could also be disconcerting for anyone that just wanted to share their thoughts with a few select friends, and not millions of people. Depending on your privacy settings, though, the ads may only be visible for your immediate circles.
“Feedback from people you know can save you time and improve results for you and your friends across all Google services,” Google explained of the change.
Essentially, Google can get paid for positive endorsements you share on YouTube or Google Plus, just as Facebook does on its own social network. It’s unclear at the moment exactly how such endorsements will be used, though Google will likely make everything more clear when it goes into effect next month.