Google Rolls Out Centralized Profiles Via New Google Profiles

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Over the weekend, Google quietly began rolling out a new, centralized profile system that will supply personalized information to each of the Google products that you use. Google Profile will subsequently share this information across all of Google’s products, bringing together various Google systems that besides a common log-in, haven’t previously played nice and shared data.

With the introduction of Google Profile, you’ll now have the chance to create one centralized profile, sharing as much, or as little information about yourself as you’d like. So far, the options for Google Profiles are pretty bare-bones, featuring your nickname (which displays as your real name to contacts only), location, occupation, photo, a short “about me” description, and links. Before you rush out to fill out your profile, keep this in mind – according to Google, all profiles are public and “may be returned as results by Google.”

Googling a person in the future might then reveal even more information than previously available, such as Google Groups they belong to, connecting all of one’s data across Google’s various services.

Right now, Google Profiles has been rolled out to a few of Google’s products, including Shared Stuff, Google Maps, and Google Reader. According to the Google Operating System blog, Google Profiles will be added to their other applications shortly. In the meantime, if you want to fill out your profile, log into your Google Account, and head on over to Google Maps.

Along the top of the page, as shown in the screenshot, you’ll see something called “My Profile”. Click on that, and you’ll be able to edit your Google Profile.

What I find most interesting about Google Profile is that it was launched on the heels of another major initiative – Google Open Social. It appears as if Google is now fully aware of the power that social networking can have, and would like to get in on that game in some way. If Google just adds in some features or nifty APIs that allow users to customize their “profile” pages even further, and allow others to leave comments, with this common link now between GTalk, Gmail, Groups, and all that, they’ve got a full-fledged social network of their own.

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  • seo bristol

    I’m sure whatever info you care to share with them will make the DoubleClick cookies on your computer twice as valuable to them!
    There are privacy issues here…

  • CarstenCumbrowski

    Hi Julie,

    nice post, thanks. I bumped into that feature this weekend by accident when I did something at Google Coop. Anyhow, it’s nice, but by far not the biggest item on my “wish list”.

    I am waiting for the day when I can consolidate my Google account that is a GMail address with the one that is not. How Google did and required things in the past, caused this problem for me, which is basically a split and in some cases overlap of Google services for theses two accounts.

    I still have to login and logoff multiple times per day to switch between the accounts. I can’t merge them and I don’t want to lose old data and/or established reputation and/or links etc. etc. by creating new accounts at Google services with one of the two emails that I decide to become the master.

    I want to use my none GMail address, because I am a paying user of Google for your domain, but I can’t migrate my Gmail account into that one yet. 🙁

    I hope somebody at Google reads this and will do something about it to end this mess in the near future. 🙂

  • Andrea

    I second that Carsten!! Haha. I thought I was the only one that thought this was a pain!

    You’d think they would’ve thought to make this easier by now… but I guess it’s easy to look over the simple stuff when you’ve got bigger fish to fry (and when you’ve got users wrapped around your finger).

  • Wayne Smallman

    I remember seeing the seeds of Google Profiles in Shared Stuff when that launched way back when.

    There’s so much more that Google can do with their applications that they’re just not doing…

  • LeeAnn Prescott

    Thank you – I was looking for this in my Gmail and Google homepage but it eluded me. I fall into the camp of not minding Google having more of my information if it makes my searches more relevant.