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Google CEO Larry Page Says “People are Flocking into Google+”

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Google released their third quarter financials for 2011 yesterday and not only came very close to the $10 billion earning mark for the quarter, but also announced Google+ has reached 40 million users.

Google CEO Larry Page said, “We had a great quarter. Revenue was up 33% year on year and our quarterly revenue was just short of $10 billion. Google+ is now open to everyone and we just passed the 40 million user mark. People are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started!”

This press release comes just days after some bad reports on Google+ surfaced, as I covered in Four Signs Google+ Might Not Be Doing So Well. From the accidental Google engineer rant where he was very negative about Google+, to traffic numbers dropping, it makes you think the new social networking site isn’t doing well.

But, when you look at the fact they have reached 40 million users in a very small amount of time, do the numbers speak for themselves?

In regards to Page’s “we are just getting started” comment, it makes you wonder what else Google+ is about to unveil. We all know they’re not done yet. They still haven’t opened up the site to brands and businesses. I can’t wait to see what happens when they do.

Four Signs Google+ Might Not Be Doing So Well

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I’ve hesitated to post anything related to the recent news that Google+ might not be doing so well. Why? Because you could still say it’s too early to judge its success just yet.

But after I read a post where one of Google’s Engineers accidentally posted a rant about Google+, I thought it was time to round up some links for you and let you decide for yourself how the social networking site is doing,

Here are four signs Google+ might not be doing so well:

1. A Google Engineer accidentally post a 5,000 word rant about Google’s platform failures – In about the middle of his little (okay large) rant, he talks about Google+. He says, “That one last thing that Google doesn’t do well is platforms. We don’t understand platforms. We don’t ‘get’ platforms. Google+ is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership (hi Larry, Sergey, Eric, Vic, howdy howdy) down to the very lowest leaf workers (hey yo).”

He went on to say the Google+ platform is a “pathetic afterthought”. He goes on to talk about why Facebook is successful and how “Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction”. Ouch.

2. Google’s own management team doesn’t use Google + – I don’t know about you, but if I was on Google’s management team, you better believe I would be using Google+. Not only to understand it fully, but just for the simple sake of supporting my company. Right? In the post by Mashable they show that “Not one of Google’s six independent board members have ever posted publicly on Google+”.

Really? That news was shocking to me.

3. The Google+ traffic drop everyone reported on – I read it everywhere. Google Plus’s traffic dropped drastically in just two days after it spiked. It spiked because they opened it up to the public. So, it took only two days for it to go right back to where it was. The interest was obviously there, but that interest didn’t last long.

ReadWriteWeb says, “Google Plus just doesn’t seem to be catching on. There’s only so much time in a day for social networking, and this newcomer isn’t converting many users.”

4. Facebook is still thriving, Google+ is full of crickets – This last reason is just a personal observation. I excitedly signed up with Google+ as soon as I could. I excitedly played games the day Google+ made them available to me. I excitedly talked about Google+ non-stop…and so did my social media friends.

Fast forward a couple of months later and I hardly make it over there and neither do a lot of my online friends. Yet, as I head to Facebook it’s still a thriving (albeit upset about all of the recent changes) community and you can tell no one is really going anywhere.

Did this Forbes writer get it right when he said Google+ is a failure?

Now it’s your turn to chime in. Does it look to you that Google+ is not doing so well? If so, what signs draw you to that conclusion. And for those of you who use it everyday, what brings you there and keeps you coming back?

Will. I. Am. Hangs Out on Google’s Homepage

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Talk about a way to get your message seen by millions! Black Eyed Peas band member Will.I. Am.’s Google+ profile is featured on the home page of Google.

Google is promoting the Black Eyed Peas Google+ Hangout, which goes live today (September 30th) at 6 pm EST. You can hang out with the band before they go on stage. The band held a similar hang out last week, but this one wasn’t advertised on the front page of Google.

As far as anyone knows, this is the first time Google has linked to a Google+ profile from this prime advertising spot. This will surely increase the number of Google + Circles Will. I. Am. ends up in. It will also be interesting to hopefully hear some numbers of how many people show up to the Hang Out.

This is just one more step in the right direction for Google+ to open up to brands. There’s been a lot of speculation of when this will happen and what it will look like exactly, but we have a feeling a prime spot like the front page of Google will have brands flocking to Google+. Don’t you think?

Google Acquires Zagat, Says They Have a World-Class Team

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Google made a big announcement on their official blog today letting the world know they have acquired Zagat, the local review giant. Zagat’s reviews and ratings have become known as a well-trusted source.

Marissa Mayer, Google‘s vice president of Local, Maps and Location Services says, “Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering—delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.”

She went on to talk about the world-class team at Zagat who have an enormous amount of experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry.

Why are they so experienced? Maybe because they’ve been around for 32 years. That’s right, 32 years. Zagat started as a printed guide to restaurants and as Mayer stated, their guides are one of the earliest forms of UGC – User Generated Content – which is what we all know and love on the world wide web in today’s times.

Zagat has brought their company to the web and mobile apps, and now they can add the power of Google search and Google Maps to their product.

Zagat founders, Nina and Tim Zagat, made the announcement today and ended it with saying, “We are thrilled to see our baby placed in such good hands and to start today as official ‘Googlers.'”

Image Source: Zagat

Google+ Launching a “Suggested User” List

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Do you have more than 100,000 followers on Twitter? Yeah, me neither but for those of you who do, you could end up on the Google+ “Suggested user” list.

According to a tweet Google’s Bradley Horowitz put out today, Google+ is about to pilot a Twitter-like suggested user program. He tweeted, “We’re about to pilot a ‘suggested user’-like mechanism on Google+. If you’ve got more than 100k followers on Twitter, DM me – lets talk!”

The details on this are very slim and how they will decide on this “Suggested-User” list, other than the fact they are looking for Twitter users with 100k+ followers, is unknown.

It is interesting how they are seeking out those on Twitter for this list.

This story is still developing and we’ll let you know if any more information is released, or if Google makes a statement about this new feature.

Google+ Business Profiles in Testing (Maybe) & How to Find Them

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Google+ has said they have every intention of welcoming brands to create a profile on the social networking site, but when they’re ready. As of now, brands can not create a page, but that should change by the end of the year.

Their latest feature addition included the verification badges where celebrities, public figures and people who have been added to a large number of circles, can have their identities verified with a check mark and a small “verified name” badge.

The next logical step is to open the flood gates for the brands and businesses. One Google+ user created a video that shows Google seems to be in the early testing phases of allowing brands and businesses to join. Watch the video below.

So, as you saw in the video, when you edit your Google + profile, under both the Employer and Education fields, there is a pre-populated list of companies to choose from. Now, this could just be Google’s way of simply adding more options for users, but we all know the time for brands to join Google+ is most likely coming very, very soon.

So – what do you think, is Google+ getting ready to open the doors to brands and businesses?

Gmail Offline Available Today, Calendar & Docs Coming Soon

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Google made the announcement via their blog that Gmail offline is available starting today. I’m sure you’ve been in a situation, like on an airplane for instance, when you would like to check your email but you can’t due to the lack of an internet connection.

Google announced Chromebooks at Google I/O 2011 and they talked about bringing offline access to their web apps. The time has come and the roll-outs are beginning, starting today with Gmail offline.

In the coming weeks, Google Calendar and Google Docs offline will also be available, which will allow you to seamlessly switch between on and offline modes.

Here’s an explanation of the web app in regards to Gmail offline:

Gmail Offline is a Chrome Web Store app that’s intended for situations when you need to read, respond to, organize and archive email without an internet connection. This HTML5-powered app is based on the Gmail web app for tablets, which was built to function with or without web access. After you install the Gmail Offline app from the Chrome Web Store, you can continue using Gmail when you lose your connection by clicking the Gmail Offline icon on Chrome’s “new tab” page.

What about the other browsers you may ask? Google plans to offer those once they support the functionality.

Have you tried Gmail offline yet? Give it a whirl and tell us what you think.

You Can Now Do More with the Google +1 Button

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Google made an announcement today regarding their +1 button.

Most likely, you’ve seen the Google +1 button around here and there and maybe, just maybe you’ve actually clicked on it. Some have been asking what rewards there are when clicking the button. In the past Google has said it helps with search engine results, by showing pages you have given a +1 to in your friends’ searches.

The +1 button might be a little bigger than some thought. According to Google, in July it received over 2 billion views a day and appears on more than a million sites. The momentum is there and now with this latest announcement, you might have more reason than ever to click it.

The +1 button now allows you to share with your Google Circles, directly from the page you are sharing on. Google says that “beginning today, we’re making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new ‘Share on Google+’ option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share”.

For more on the new +1 button, sharing on Google+ and +snippets (where they automatically include a link when you share), watch this video.

Is Google+ a Failure? One Forbes Writer Says Yes

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Now that we’ve all had some time to test out Google+ and the excitement has died down a little, can we go ahead and call it a failure? Or is it still too early to dig it a grave?

Forbes writer Paul Tassi is officially calling Google+ dead. When he clicks on his newsfeed, all he sees is “tumbleweed blowing through the barren, blank page”. He’s also calling it a “a vast and empty wasteland, full of people who signed up but never actually stuck around to figure out how things worked in this new part of town”.

When he heads back on over to Facebook, he sees a vibrant community full of people still posting updates, still posting photos and still as active as ever.

Sure, people are complaining about Facebook and some of its privacy issues or lack of certain features they want, but they don’t seem to be flooding the gates of Google+. They’re still on Facebook.

So what’s the one flaw Tassi says Google+ has? It’s simple really. He says, “It’s not Facebook”.

So tell us – is Google+ a failure or is it still to early to make a call like this?

Google Acquires Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion

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Google made a huge announcement this morning. They have come into an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, which some are saying is an unusual move for the company.

What’s the reason for the big move on Google’s part? It “will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing”.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, released a statement saying, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

This recent news is heating up both online and offline news sources. What are your thoughts on this purchase made by Google?

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