Google+ Celebrates First Year With Mixed Results

Google+ celebrated its first birthday this week, and after launching with a build-up of buzz that fizzled off as users filtered away from the social network, technology experts now saw the network has found its niche.

Google launched the network one year ago this week, and while it has failed to put a dent in the popularity of Facebook, the network has nonetheless become an important part of Google’s slate of offerings, Computerworld reported. Though Google made little mention of the anniversary at the morning keynote of Google I/O, executives did speak to its strengths as a network

“Google+ is at the heart of our efforts to create a simpler, more intuitive experience for all Google users,” said Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of engineering, during the morning keynote at the Google I/O developer conference Wednesday, Computerworld reported. “We want to present you with one seamless experience and not a bunch of disconnected products.”

Developers announced a Google+ version for Android tablets and another soon to be released for the Apple iPad. In its first year the social network grew to 150 million active monthly users, with 75 million daily users, Google executives said. While that is dwarfed by the 800 million users Facebook claims, the Google network is not necessarily looking for a direct user-to-user comparison.

“As a standalone social network, Google+ isn’t close to comparing to Facebook or Twitter, but that’s not necessarily the point of it,” Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, told Computerworld.

“Google+ is the home base for all things that connect Google. It’s the glue that holds it together. But for numbers, it is more like RC Cola, not Pepsi, as it relates to competing with Coke.”

Google officials even bristle at the function being referred to as a “social network,” Mashsable reported.

“Google+ is just an upgrade to Google,” Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social business, told Mashable. “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.”