Brin: “I’m Not A Social Person” But “Google+, I Instantly Found Compelling”

Google cofounder Sergey Brin made a surprise appearance at Web 2.0 Summit today, and in talking about Google Plus, he said despite not being social himself, he found the service compelling.

“I’m not a very social person myself,” Brin said to interviewer John Battelle, adding that he tried a number of social services “because I feel it’s important to my job.”

None of them were a fit until his own company’s network launched.

“Google Plus, I instantly found compelling,” Brin said.

Brin was joined by senior vice president and Google+ czar Vic Gundotra. Are the 40 million users that Google+ claims actually using the service, Battelle asked?

“Well, they signed up, and they’re using it,” Gundotra responded.

Brin also said that at first, he didn’t like how Google+ was built but was happy with the outcome.

“I think the lesson is that you should not listen to me as a designer but as a user, I’m very pleased with the results,” Brin said

Gundotra countered, saying that Brin’s input was extremely helpful in places, especially in helping the Hangout feature get refined.

Brin said the service has helped him connect with “friends I haven’t heard from for a while” and that the existing services didn’t work for him with that, because they didn’t allow selective sharing so well.

Battelle said that in his own experience, while he sees lots of influencers sharing as he does on Twitter, in terms of family, “I’m still waiting for someone to pick up the phone.”

Gundotra admitted that it’ll take time for more people to come on but that “we’re quite happy” about how things are. He also said that growth was beyond what was expected.

Asked about an engineer’s long memo decrying that Google+ wasn’t built right, Brin responded that “I didn’t make it past the first 1,000 pages” of the memo and suggested that those sharing such thoughts should think carefully about an easy-to-read summary paragraph early on and to share things “appropriately.”

As for when brand pages will come to Google+, Gundotra said “imminently” but “not within days.” Gundotra also said, as AllThingsD focuses on in its write-up of the talk, that support for pseudonyms is coming, as is support for Google Apps users to be able to log into Google+ with their accounts. That’s promised “within days.”

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: Google+


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • TimmyTime

    “Google Plus, I instantly found compelling,”

    Wow! It must really, really, really be compelling. ^ Here’s iron clad proof.

  • Jeff Clarke

    Google’s own CEO thinks one of their products is compelling! Wow! Go figure!

    Incidentally, it begs the question — how many of google’s products does Brin think are *not* compelling?

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