Google’s CEO Larry Page was prepared for reporter and analysts inquiries into the success of their social network Google+. There’s been great speculation on how well the social network is actually doing in terms of people who are using it every day.
Google has made a couple bets on social networking in the past that hadn’t paid off. Google Buzz was supposed to be Google’s answer to Twitter. The short form microblogging social network was shut down, but not before it spawned an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission based on Google’s privacy policies. That investigation resulted in a settlement, and now Google is subject to inspection at any moment over the next 20 years.
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Google’s other marginal attempt at social networking is Orkut. Orkut has taken off in Latin America and just received an update as well as share buttons across other Google services. However, it’s not as deeply integrated as the new Google+.
Nibletz.com along with other sites, inquired earlier this month into how many people were actually using the service. A quick Google search revealed over 25 million users hadn’t completed their profiles yet. Google dismissed that as people with private profiles forgetting that in July of 2011 they said they wouldn’t allow “private” profiles.
So Page obviously came under fire over Google+ actual usage. Page dismissed it as “confusion over metrics”. He then went on to say that Google+ is actually two parts Social Spine and Social Destination. Page was quick to acknowledge that the “social spine” which encompasses all of Google’s services that tap into Google Plus as very strong with 170 million users. As for the social destination he said it “growing very fast…with very healthy growth”. In other words he ducked the question totally as to how many people are actually using the service.
Google released a new UI layout for Google+ yesterday that many Google+ users are criticizing for having too much white space. Others are suggesting that it looks a lot like the Facebook timeline.