Google recently announced an upcoming change to its terms of service that will let the company use profiles’ names and photos alongside its online ads as of November 11th. The feature, called Shared Endorsements, will not only affect Google+ users, but Page owners as well.
The change essentially means that Google is claiming the ability to use your Page’s name, photo, and actions — such as +1s, reviews that you write, or comments that you post — within its advertising unless you choose to opt out.
In an email sent to Page owners and managers last week, the company offered an example of how this might work. “If you Page publicly follows another Page, Google may surface this action with your Page’s name and photo when relevant and helpful to users, including in ads.”
As always, you’re in control of what you share on Google. If you share something with a limited audience, that post won’t be used. It’s worth noting that this is an opt-out feature, meaning that come November 11th, everyone’s name and photos are fair game unless otherwise specified.
The new Shared Endorsement setting lets you control how your Page’s name, photo, and actions will appear, if at all. You can access it from your Page’s Dashboard and may change it at any time. If you manage multiple Pages, each Page has its own setting. You will have to manually visit each Dashboard to adjust your settings, or to turn the feature off completely.
We recommend consulting with your team before doing so, as some brands might wish to participate in Shared Endorsements. As for Google+ Profiles, the change could be beneficial as consumers are more likely to take action if their friends have done so as well.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.