google plus hangouts

If you ever wanted proof that Google+ is, in fact, not a social network but rather an all-in bid for your identity, here’s your pudding: mere weeks after the announcement of the Google+ login button, hundreds of major media outlets are using the Google+ button for their web and mobile user logins.

Today, Google is announcing that American Idol, Universal Music Group, Fox Broadcasting company, and hundreds of other partners are doing Google+-flavored sign-ins. The service had around 10 partners at its launch; now, through middleman-like service providers including Gigya and Janrain, it’s expanding its reach by an order of magnitude and then some.

And while those red login buttons will often sit next to other login options, they bring a few unique benefits — especially for partners with Android apps.

“They can put Google+ signup next to Twitter or Facebook or their own authentication,” said Google exec Seth Sternberg in a recent chat about the rollout. “There are lots of great advantages for the developer and the user, but it’s not a one-or-the-other choice. … You could connect with both, or make it single sign-on.”

The Android piece is particularly interesting. If you’re a publisher or developer with an Android app to promote, a Google+-authenticated user who is browsing around your desktop website will be prompted to download the Android app, too. Then, the user can opt to get an over-the-air install of the app without ever touching a smartphone.

As Sternberg said, “A lot of times, [people] are using a web application that they love, and they don’t even realize it has an Android app. It’s just not obvious. So we’ve made it easy to get an app onto your phone with one tap.”

The little red button, he concluded, takes around two weeks of dev time to get up and running — a timeframe that’s consistent with the time between the Google+ login launch and today’s news of massive expansion.

Here’s a demo of the login button in action: