Google+ is coming along swiftly, said Google+ overseer Vic Gundotra, who beat up on Facebook a little bit. Google co-founder Sergey Brin also touted Google+.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra
said the Google+ social network's meteoric rise to more than 40 million users one
month after launching to public beta exceeded the company's internal expectations,
and vowed to bring pseudonyms to users.
Gundotra, who shepherded Google+ to fruition for the past
one and a half years, appeared alongside Google co-founder Sergey Brin at the
Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco Oct. 19. Web 2.0 Summit co-host John Battelle
asked him if he was happy with that speedy user adoption.
Gundotra said he is happy with its fast start --
users have also shared more than 3.4 billion photos in the last 100 days -- but
acknowledged his team has a lot to do.
With Google+, the search provider is
engaging rival Facebook in the war for users' attention. Incumbent network
Facebook has more than 800 million users, some of whom use the service an average of
8 hours per month. That's a lot of eyeballs, time and ad clicks that Google is
Brin, noting that he is "not a very social person himself"
and hasn't spent a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks,
said that while he initially believed the Circles sharing construct would prove
too complicated to use, he found Google+ instantly compelling as a user. He
makes public and private posts.
Gundotra added that Brin was intimately involved in the
social network's design, including Google+ Hangouts, the network's free video
chat service for up to 10 users. Brin said he was actually being sarcastic
about his enthusiasm for Hangouts and admitted he was wrong about how the
service should work.
Battelle then brought up the point that while he
encounters colleagues on Google+, his family members are loathe to join. He noted
that when venture capitalist Sean Parker spoke at the show Monday, he said it was hard to compete with
network effects, getting users and their friends to switch to new platforms.
This is Google+'s universal challenge in a nutshell.
Gundotra said Parker is right in terms of challenging the
incumbent at its own game. He added that Google is trying to play a different
game, leveraging Google's inherent user base, which is spread across Google
Search, Gmail, YouTube and other services. Many of these users are connected by
their Google accounts, or profiles, which are the connective tissue for