Google adopts dual social media model

16 April 2012

NEW YORK: Google, the online giant, is taking a dual approach to social media, combining a "spine" of integrated services and a "destination" in the form of its Google+ network.

Speaking on a conference call with analysts, Larry Page, the company's CEO, reported that over 100 digital products from its portfolio have been interlinked in tighter fashion than ever before.

"Google+ is truly at the heart of our efforts to create a simpler, more intuitive experience for all of our users," he said.

He also divided Google's social media drive into "two parts", the first of which was described as a "social spine" pulling together the various services under Google's in this way.

"Once you're logged in and have upgraded to Google+, you're just using one Google, not a series of disconnected products. It's still early days, but with over 120 Google+ integrations to date, we're on the right track," he said.

As examples, Page argued that Google+ members can see the content and links their friends have selected via the +1 button, or access all their digital books, films and music through Google Play.

"You don't think about that as Google+, but it just comes from that infrastructure. And we're seeing a positive impact all across the web. Google users can now recommend search results they like, a goal we've had ever since we started the company," he said.

Elsewhere, Page asserted that the second part of Google's push into this space was the Google+ network, termed a "social destination", and currently boasting over 170m members worldwide.

"This social destination part grew from a base of 0, not starting with all Google users like the part I was previously talking about, and is growing quickly," said Page. "We are starting up a new community."

In a bid to increase engagement with this platform, Google recently rolled out a new user interface, making it easier for visitors to locate applications and discover key features.

"The social destination part of Google+ is growing as a new product with very healthy growth," Page added. "The social spine is proportional to Google and all of the usage across Google. And Google's pretty big."

Page also predicted Google+ could yield major benefits when it came to improving its search service in the long term.

"Social data about identity and the ability to easily share things with other people ... is a basic utility for people in all of our products," he said. "And that's where I was talking about Google+ really working across all of Google for identity and sharing and notification and other things that it does really well."

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff