The company has spelled this out via the Google Plus help topics surrounding public profiles. The entry states:
The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.
Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you’ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don’t want to share.
If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011.
This change makes a huge difference from the private profile options seen on Facebook, which allows users to abscond from search results, messages, friend requests and more. Google’s approach only requires the name and gender fields to be public, but forces everyone into the same boat.
If you’d like to change any aspects of your profile you can log into Google Plus and click Edit Profile. You’ll find your name easily editable from any screen, and your gender information under the About tab.
What do you think about Google’s stance? Would you prefer a private profile? Have you switched from Facebook yet? Is it all hot air? Comments ahoy, below.