Online reviews can make or break a purchase, or in this case, a download. In an effort to improve the quality of reviews published on its Play Store, Google now requires individuals to use their Google+ credentials.

Before the switch, reviews appeared as “A Google User,” leaving apps vulnerable to trolls and anonymous nay-sayers. Unlike Apple’s App Store, which uses a username system, reviews posted to Google Play will now include an individual’s Google+ name and picture.

This move is similar to how the search giant approached anonymity on YouTube. Google recently asked members to connect to their existing YouTube accounts with their Google+ profiles. Apparently brands can expect support for Google+ Pages soon.

While this could be beneficial for app developers — it might help you build a stronger relationship with fans and, hopefully, convert a few non-fans — not everyone is happy about Google forcing them to use the social network.

That said, it comes down to a quality versus quantity argument. Sure, the added barrier of logging in to or creating a Google+ account might deter some from reviewing your app, but it will also help to keep the trolls and fake reviews from download-blocking potential fans.

This isn’t the only integration between Google Play and Google+. Earlier this month the company announced that members are now able to share and purchase Android apps directly from the stream on Google+.

[Via: Engadget, Image credit: Victor Bergmann]