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Prevalence of Google accounts - limitation for Google Realtime API?

My developers and I are building a collaboration platform, and considering using Google Realtime API - basically the tech behind Google Docs. It's really powerful will let us build lots of good custom stuff.

However, as far as we can tell, it requires users to have a Gmail or otherwise Google-enabled account, which they'll have to authorise with our platform. I'm wondering how big a problem this presents.

Does anyone know what % of internet users have a Google account? (Not to be confused with the % of users who use Google search). Alternatively, are there any workarounds that will allow our users to use the platform without their own Google account? Or are we wrong about their needing a Google account in the first place?

Many thanks!

2 Replies

Roger Wu
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Roger Wu Entrepreneur
co-founder at cooperatize, native advertising platform
We use Google APIs for a lot of things and have one master user that we partition ourselves into our own users.
Edward Upton
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Edward Upton Entrepreneur
Founder, LittleData. Digital Product Manager and Google Analytics expert
We use Google accounts as the single login for LittleData - mainly because we need access to Google Analytics API.

Including Google Apps, there are probably 1bn+ Google accounts in existence

What we've found is that business users are often confused by Google's account system - they have multiple Gmail account set up for accessing different parts of Google's ecosystem, and can't remember the passwords for all of them.

It works much for smoothly for organisations that use Google Apps, since their main email is also their Gmail account.

So it's not pain free, but I understand the need to hook into Google's oauth system. As an aside, if you want to achieve the same collaborative editing features you could look at the Meteor framework - although I think Realtime API may beat it on conflict resolution features.
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