Google Plus Is Not a Social Network

July 1, 2012

I read “Google+ Creator: Don’t Call It a Social Network.” The story makes it clear that a 20 something news service reported that Google Plus is not a social network. Okay, second, maybe third hand information is just the ticket for the 4th of July holiday crowd. For me, I was mildly curious. Here’s the passage which caught my attention:

Mashable sat down with Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social business, and Bradley Horowitz, Google+’s vice president of product, at the Google I/O developer conference. They were excited about the new Google+ features that were announced — the Events feature and the new tablet app — but they were also quick to downplay any comparisons to Facebook, or any suggestion that many people aren’t interested in joining Google+. “Google+ is just an upgrade to Google,” says Gundotra. “People have a hard time understanding that. I think they like to compare us with other social competitors, and they see us through that lens instead of really seeing what’s happening: Google is taking its amazing products, and by bringing them together, they just become more awesome.” Gundotra and others have said this before, and you get the sense that they really believe in their recipe for Kool-Aid. Google also released some new statistics to parry any stabs at accusing the network of not having a large and engaged audience — 250 million total users, with 150 million of them visiting every month, and half of those people signing in every day (if you’re doing the math, that’s 75 million daily active Plussers).

Two senior Google professionals and one interesting idea. Google Plus is not a social network.

My thoughts started to drift toward what my former history professor Dr. Philip Crane called “Stalin’s revisionism.” But I dismissed that idea. The notion that anyone today would reinvent or change the historical record is downright goose feathers, correct?

I did a quick search of Google+ social and Google Plus social and learned:

  • Google.com reports that there are 423 billion hits on the query “Google+” social
  • Google.com reports that there are 272 billion hits on the query “Google Plus” social

My hunch is that it will take more than a couple of interviews and a CNN story to alter the Google compensation plan which rewards Googlers for social products and services, Larry Page’s seeming obsession with playing catch up to the “new” Larry Page Mark Zuckerberg, and the series of social innovations which were flawed, late to market or flops (Orkut, Buzz, Wave, Knol, and so on).

Perhaps that chance association with Stalin’s revisionism was not too wide of the metaphorical mark. You may find “Google+: A Year of Missed Opportunities” a possible trigger for the double Googler about face.

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2012

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Comments

2 Responses to “Google Plus Is Not a Social Network”

  1. Google Plus Is Not a Social Network : Beyond Search | Manlio Mannozzi on July 2nd, 2012 12:00 am

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