Did you notice something different about your Google navigation bar this morning? If you look closely enough, you will see that Google has added a Play Store button to the black navigation bar. What is the Google Play Store? Essentially, Google Play houses Google Books, Google Videos, the Android Market, and all of Google’s other content under one giant Play roof. Google started Google Play a few weeks ago in order to bring all of its paid content together.
While Google Play seemed like a good idea at the time, Google hasn’t really gained a lot of new users through Google Play. So what’s a company to do if users aren’t flocking to its newest website? Why, add a button that links Google users directly to that content site, of course! This is the same strategy that Google took with Google Plus and now the search giant seems to be forcing users to stare directly at Google Play on a regular basis. Is this tactic a good one?
Google Users Are Losing Control
I remember the days when my Gmail account was simply a place to check my email and use a reliable email service provider. These days, there are all kinds of things happening inside of my Gmail account. First it was the addition (really, a forced addition) of a Google Plus account and Plus account notifications in the top right-hand corner of my Gmail account homepage. Now, that thick black navigation bar just keeps getting thicker and Google is filling it with all kinds of buttons – the newest being the Google Play button (flashing a red “New!” sign).
Like every other company, Google has new and good ideas sometimes. But, like every other company, some of Google’s ideas just don’t catch on. Forcing Google users to sign up for a Plus account or to view a whole bunch of useless buttons on a large black navigation bar doesn’t seem to be the way to go. Come on, Google, let users choose which services they will use and focus on perfecting those services – the other services might draw in some people, but you don’t have to force people to sign up for, say, a Google Plus account or view a Google Play button every time a Gmail account is opened.
Giving Users More Control
Google is great at forcing users to view, sign up for, and look at other Google products and services, but there’s no option to get rid of that navigation bar or to customize it. Instead, if you want to use a Google service like Gmail, you will have to deal with new and annoying updates like the Google Play button. It’s understandable that Google simply wants to draw attention to the new Play venture, but there are better ways of gaining users and publicity.
To be fair, however, Google doesn’t own and control all of its content and services, so you will have to put up with Google’s constant meddling if you want to use any of the products that this company puts out. Also, in Google’s favor, the search company is great at keeping all of its services up-to-date and relevant, so no fault there. But, really, Google, give your users a break and stop forcing Play buttons and social media sites.