Having just had Google+ inadvertently slated in public by one of its own, Google's developers are still pushing out new features to the fledgling social service while Larry Page discussed it at length in a Google call.
Social Search Rises in Importance
The Twitterverse got a major dose of gossip earlier when Google's Steve Yegge accidentally publicly posted a message intended for his fellow Googlers that the company needed to focus on openness, APIs and Google+ as a platform, rather than building everything itself. Google+ has been losing users recently, as there is no wider ecosystem to help keep people on the site, which was largely the thrust of Yegge's argument.
Google will have to take stock and consider its response, beyond the usual PR schmaltz, but for now it continues with the gradual, organic growth of the service. The latest addition is support for hashtags in search so that users can find Twitter comments. This comes after Google and Twitter failed to agree on direct access to the Twitter stream within the service.
Add to that the new real-time search feature and now Google+ searches can post results just seconds after they were created, similar to the "most recent" option in existing Google searches. In combination, you can now follow a Twitter stream from within Google+, if that takes your fancy.
As more users search from their social apps, Google will need to ensure its results are relevant from any location, rather than hoping people still drop back to the original Google search page.
With big news stories now spreading faster on Twitter than across even the web presence of the mainstream media, having access to Twitter is important for all services, and as Microsoft's search engine Bing has a deal with Twitter, it will be interesting to compare results for speed and accuracy.
Larry Page Speaks
During Google's recent quarterly financials call, in which the company announced quarterly revenue of almost US$ 10 billion, CEO Larry Page discussed Google+ at length. He announced that it has passed the 40M user mark, and users are arriving at an incredible rate.
While light on other metrics, he mentioned that over 3.4 billion photos have already been uploaded in Google+ and admitted it is still very early days for the product. His ultimate ambition is to transform the overall Google experience, making it beautifully simple, almost automagical, because we understand what users want and expect and he believes can deliver it.
He takes the view that in the last quarter, the company shipped the '+' part of the project, and now they plan to ship the Google part. Will that be enough to launch it into the mass consumer space? We look forward to events with great interest.