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Google is looking to make money off of users’ endorsements by selling the reviews, posts and ratings to include in new advertisements across Google sites.
Google made the announcement Friday by making changes to its terms of service. Starting Nov. 11, Google will begin taking ratings, reviews and posts made by users on YouTube, Google+ and other Google-owned sites and including them in advertisements, making it appear as if they endorse the product, reports The New York Times.
These ads will not only include the ones shown on Google itself, but on the nearly two million that are members of the Google display ad network. So, for example, if you write about how great a restaurant is in a Google+ post, that message may show up in an ad for that restaurant. Or if you give an album four stars on Google Play, anyone who sees an ad for that album may see that you gave it four stars.
Google did say that users can opt out and they will only include users 18 and over.
However, this is still a policy that could have consequences. According to Bloomberg, Facebook has already tried something similar called sponsored stories, which later resulted in a lawsuit they settled for $20 million. They also had to amend their privacy settings.
In the Facebook venture, companies could pay to have your positive posts or the fact that you like their page show up in your friends’ news feeds.
Google is trying to be as careful as possible with its terms and you can already opt-out from having your face show up in ads.
image: Wikimedia Commons