Google turns users into sleazy salespeople with paid Google Apps referrals

Nowadays, things tend to spread virally, thanks to the internet and social media. If you discover something cool, you will share it with friends and followers. People like to share videos, pictures and even apps. With the exception of advertisements masquerading as real suggestions, people share discoveries for the sake of sharing -- it is a nice gesture.

Once a financial incentive comes into play, a suggestion becomes tainted. For example, a salesman on commission may be genuine in their suggestions, but since their pay is dependent on the sale, you can never be 100 percent sure. Sadly, Google announces that it is turning users into sleazy commissioned salespeople with paid referrals. Will you sell your soul for $15.00?

"For those of us who use Google Apps, the ability to access all of our documents from anywhere on any device and being able to seamlessly collaborate with colleagues or customers across the world, are impressive moments. These are moments we want to share with friends and colleagues because the more the people in our networks use Google Apps, the more seamlessly we can collaborate with them -- whether it's video conferencing via Hangouts, working together on Docs or sharing calendars. Best of all, it means we can all begin to experience a new way of working", says Prajesh Parekh, Google Apps Marketing.

Parekh further explains, "many of the millions of Google Apps customers learned about tools like Hangouts, Drive and Gmail for business from their customers, friends and networks. To help continue the momentum, we’re launching the Google Apps Referral Program. The referral program makes it easy to share Google Apps with your network and show them how they too can use these tools at work. To show our appreciation, we’re offering a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user you refer".

While I am a fan of Google Apps and I do suggest them to people, I take umbrage with being paid to suggest it. Google is a company that makes much of its money from advertising, but turning users into tools of said advertising is just plain wrong. Like I said, it taints the suggestion and makes money a top focus. It makes the entire thing feel cheap. I predict that we may see tons of spam from users trying to earn referral money, which may hurt Google more than help.

Will you take advantage of the program? Tell me in the comments.

Image Credit: Ronald Sumners/Shutterstock

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