If you noticed an addition to your Google account pages recently, you weren’t the only one. Last week, Google introduced a new feature of its page that displays a users’ account name and lets them access their settings, various folders, and easily log out. It’s a pretty minimal update, but seeing as we’ve all become so hungry for the massively delayed Google social project, this seemed like a sign.
Turns out we were all reaching. After widespread speculation this was indeed the first implementation in a Google social layer to be incrementally introduced, the Cupertino company is setting the record straight. Google explains that the addition is nothing more than a way for users to make sure what account they are logged in under when using various Google applications. For instance, if you’re wanting to share a document under your company’s account, it makes it immediately obvious how you are logged in and if you need to switch.
It’s also meant to help users who want to keep some information from being associated with their name. According to a blog post from director of privacy Alma Whitten, “sometimes you want the web without having your online activity tied to your identity…perhaps when you’re researching a medical condition.”
On the plus side, it’s another step toward user privacy for Google. Clearly, there’s been contention when it comes to this in the past and the company isn’t taking any chances. Unfortunately, it means there’s still little to no progress on Google +1 (if that’s even your real name, Google social project!). It’s starting to feel like maybe Google’s trying to kill its alleged social feature, and is just waiting until all the media hype dies down and we forget about it.