Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has defended the company’s social strategy at its Big Tent event in London today. When questioned whether he believed that Google+ was a success or not, Schmidt replied “absolutely”.
Specifically, Schmidt was quizzed on rumours that Google+ hadn’t realised the success it was hoping for. Schmidt answered,
“This is a rumour creating a target we didn’t say about internal goals we don’t have comparing us to a rival that’s very well managed and has been around 12 years.”
Schmidt is presumably referring to Facebook – although it’s only eight years old – but rather justifiably compares the amount of time each network has had to evolve, stating that “our Google+ efforts started in the last 6-12 months” and that “if Google is as successful with Google+ in less than the 12 years Facebook has been around we’ll be very happy with that”.
Schmidt also referred to Google+ Hangouts as its “current breakout product”. He was keen to deflect direct comparisons between Google+ and its competitors.
“For us there’s value in creating that social graph. Don’t you think YouTube would be better if we have better information about your friends, with your permission? Don’t you think we’ll have better information for search if we have those signals?”
So while Facebook can be described as a conventional social network with a more direct approach, Google+ has been created to augment users’ experience of all other Google services. Google+ is less of a destination but an underlying social graph to help tie Google’s products together.