Facebook may be the king of social networks, but Google+ has one thing above the competition: Forced joining.

In a controversial move and suspected attempt to boost low usage rates, Google decided to add G+ accounts for people who are using any other Google products, whether they asked for it or not. This means that if you’re creating an account on Gmail or YouTube, you’re instantly set up with a Google+ profile. 

Why the push toward unification of users’ social profiles? It turns out that its part of Google+’s drive to dethrone Facebook from its’ social-networking dominance. Both social networks get the bulk of their revenue from online media buying and advertising. A big part of that business model relies on user information. The information about a Facebook or Google+ user’s online activity, their friends and their interests can be leveraged for targeted, conversion-oriented ads. 

By tying together seemingly disparate online activity – for example, views on YouTube and reviews on the Google-owner Zagat guide – Google can create a more complete picture of an individual for advertising purposes. That could lead to more opportunities for Google to leverage that data into advertising revenue in the coming years.

Integration is the name of the game. While some users may be surprised by the integration, Google officials say to expect more. “Google+ is Google,” explained Vice President Bradley Horowitz in an interview with (news source), “The entry points to Google+ are many, and the integrations are more every day.”

For example, Google now requires people to use their Google+ profiles to post reviews of restaurants or other businesses online, or for apps in the Android store. Search ads are also integrated with social information and often show how many people recommend a brand. Currently, Google+ ranks 6th in terms of total online unique visitors – with Facebook dominating the landscape – and if integration can help them sell more to media buyers, the online giant will surely continue to pursue it despite user backlash.