Google likes to find ways for people to express themselves and more importantly, more accurately. And now Google seem to have struck upon a more novel way for users to better clearly define who they are. Today, Google announced that they have made a change to the way in which Gender Identity is identified on Google+. Now, editors of a page will be able to write a gender option as opposed to ticking a box or highlighting a value. This is because Google has introduced a custom gender field which does not include pre-set values.
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Before today, when filling in the Basic Information page users were presented with ‘Male’, ‘Female’ and ‘Other’. It barely needs to be commented on how rudimentary this list was. However, after today’s announced change takes effect, there will be four options on offer. These consist of ‘Male’, ‘Female’, ‘Decline to State’ and ‘Custom’. Decline to Stare is rather obvious and simply gives users the ability to not answer the question if they do not want to. But what is more interesting is the ‘Custom’ field. Differently, to Facebook who lists an almost endless list of options for users to identify with, Google has provided the Custom field as an actual free-flow input field. As a result, users can type in exactly what they want instead of ticking a box from a list of options. This seems to be a far more logical way than what is offered on Facebook. What is also quite interesting is that it seems the idea may have originated from users, as Google thanked them for their input and ideas on how to implement this.
The actual feature has not gone live as of yet, but Google have stated that it will be rolled out over the next few days, so you should expect to see it on your Google+ page soon. For those that do not want any of this information to be made public then do not worry, it seems the option to keep data private will remain as it was before. What do you think of the changes made? Are you glad Google are using a free-flow method? Should this be the method for all personal information? Whatever your thoughts make sure to leave a comment.