Larry Page, co-founder of Google, said that the company must do everything it can to surpass Facebook’s popularity as a social networking site, and thus invest on the necessary resources to improve Google Plus for that matter.
Last Wednesday is the first year anniversary of Mr. Page as Google CEO after he replaced co-founder Eric Schmidt last year. With the company’s zeal in improving on its social aspect, many have shown concern that its policy “Don’t Be Evil” is at stake at the expense of improving the online advertising implications from social networking.
According to Steven Levy, author of the book In The Plex, Google could not ignore the fact that Facebook is in full control of the Internet’s social side. Even as Google is hugely dominant in the online advertising market, $36.5 billion in advertising compared to only $3.2 billion from Facebook, the search company understands that Facebook will eventually use its advantage in the social realm as leverage to reach the top.
When it comes to gathering valuable personal information for targeted advertising, Facebook is enjoying massive data from its users. People who use Facebook tend to share voluntarily personal information about interests, an attitude that is consequential given the nature of social networking.
In the nature of Google Search, such data is unobtainable for targeted advertising, thus, Google Plus was born. Google Plus’ major success has been the ability to gather 100 million users in just 9 months, something that Facebook was unable to do in its early stages.
Where Google Plus falters is in keeping its users engaged. The average user only spends a couple of minutes per month browsing their Plus profiles. Still, it has learned a lot about the lives of its users, and this information is usable to further increase Google’s advertising revenues.
Mr. Page’s main priority right now is definitely improving the social networking aspect of Google, and there are many indications to this, including employee bonuses tied to making Google Plus more successful.