Google will soon use your comments, ratings and photos for 'Shared Endorsements' ads

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Google on Friday updated its terms of service such that the search giant will soon be able to use your name, photos and comments as product endorsements for ads shown across the Internet. Content will be gathered from the company’s various online products including Google+ and YouTube according to the New York Times.

The idea is that using personalized product endorsements will make your friends and family more likely to check out a brand if they see you have good things to say about it. For example, if you follow a restaurant or give an album on Google Play a good rating, your name, photo and endorsement could show up in an ad for said restaurant or alongside the album.

Google is well aware that they are walking a thin line with this type of advertising. As Forrester analyst Zachary Reiss-Davis notes, the trick to any advertising like this is to avoid coming off as creepy to your user base and have them say things like, “I didn’t want anyone else to know that.”

The uptick for Google, however, is that they have a potentially wide reach across their varying services. It’s estimated that Google’s display advertising network is seen by at least one billion people.

The new policy, which goes live on November 11, will automatically exclude individuals under the age of 18. Unlike Facebook, users will have the opportunity to opt out of being included in endorsements.

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