Users will agree with moot that separate identities are better and safer, but this is not how the real FB/Google customers see it; advertisers and marketeers want to know that user-A is an engineer AND loves cooking AND has a pet AND goes on 4chan.org/tv, not just one OR the others.
That's why FB/Google try so hard to reconcile all your activities under one ID: to better represent the unique intersection of interests that will be resold to marketeers. Any feature they implement to "manage your faceted identity" will only give you an illusion of separation, and will inevitably link all your activities anyway, because that's necessary for their business model.
Note that this is not a rant (I use FB and G+ every day), I just think this point tends to be overlooked when talking about "social" websites, almost like it was not polite to point out where these businesses make their money.
An optimist would say that's exposed so you can wipe it clean, a pessimist would say that's exposed so you can refine your profile to be better advertised to.
Ad networks (like me!) use demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data to target most display ad campaigns. I have run campaigns specifically sold as "market to Nigerian immigrants living in America" or "moms 25-35 interested in beauty products." And even when not specifically targeting those audiences, one can often find surprising performance pockets from these audience intersections- good for my performance and useful info to bubble back up to the advertiser.
And... guess who's the current biggest display ad platform?
Not everyone in the world can be assured their human rights and exposing personal information can lead to persecution. Therefore, there is a risk attributed to this data collection, at least for some. Not everyone is willing or able to take these risks.
While I can agree that this data may be useful for both customer and advertiser, its potential misuse should not be ignored. And when these networks deny the use of pseudonyms, they force their users to take (unnecessary) risks.
On the flip side, that's a confounding factor that makes it hard to compare Facebook to Google in terms of some type of battle for advertising dollars. For the time being they should both see revenue growth, irregardless of who does a better job.
Google understands that ignoring competitors , even niche ones , can be a long term risk. So they work on controlling all the advertising market. I think that's also the biggest reason behind Android: google makes very little money with it. But it's a great defensive strategy.
Absolutely. That's the dishonest part about this conversation. G+ and FB make more money if you use your real name. Asking whether they are right or wrong about identity is allowing them to keep the conversation one step away from where it should be. G+ and FB use you real name. Fine. Here's the conversations that need to follow: 1) To what extent can they leverage that for profit? 2) Is this leading us to an internet that is non-anonymous by default, and do we want that?
Poole is right, but he's really just talking strategy. I do agree that G+ and FB are creating a vacuum to be filled with anonymous social services.
With multiple identities, on the other hand, I could have my real identity, with my real name, and then - for example - my hacker identity, or my secretly gay identity or whatever. With the guarantee that for other users there is absolutely no way to connect the dots if I don't want that myself, but with an easy to use interface that allows me to manage them all as seamlessly as possible.
I personally wouldn't mind if the provider was able to connect the dots and use that information for targeted advertising - as long as it doesn't sell my identity to the advertisers, only the target. And this could become a real differentiator from FB.
By the way, my wife already manages different identities by using different services (ie facebook and linkedin).
About resharing, of course if you use the same real name in both services that would't be different from circles - it would just make it much harder to reshare, but by no way impossible. That's not my wife's use case. But if you use different names, tracing you becomes pretty difficult.
facebook does not allow multiple accounts.
twitter doesn't have that many users.
People haven't put facebook and G+ through the same judgement as they have put the internet in general. They still look at it as a place were they can conveniently post personal information. But eventually they will.
An interesting phenomenon occurs among adult people that go through a serious relationship break up. Most go back to their private life and abandon their facebook activity for obvious reasons. So I would say, people will eventually care.
I am not sure that this is overlooked. I think most people know it is as so obviously true that it doesn't need restating anymore.