With the Google+ user base already in the millions and growing, Google is planning heavy investments in it and will eventually use Plus as the infrastructure behind all of the company’s products.
Speaking to reporters this week in Idaho, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Google is pleased with the early response to Plus and is planning to use its core identity and “circles” features across Google products.
“The current inclination of the company,” Schmidt said, “is to invest heavily … we test stuff and, when it works, we put a lot more emphasis on it. So, Google+ — all the signs are very positive, so now the whole company is ramping up on top of it.”
Schmidt said he didn’t know the exact number of Google+ users, but said it was in the “millions.” (Early this week, Google+ user Paul Allen — who co-founded Ancestry.com and is now Chief Revenue Officer at FamilyLink.com — used surname distribution data from the US Census Bureau to estimate that Plus had about 1.7 million users as of Monday.)
Plus is still in its infancy, so Schmidt was non-committal about a lot of specifics, but he made repeated references to Google+ being used to power and improve other Google products. Consider these three quotes:
As we move our stuff onto what you think of as Google+, there’s a nice set of product improvements in core search, YouTube, maps, and so forth, which should drive adoption.
We’re trying to use the identity infrastructure to make Google products really interesting. Imagine all of those properties adopting the circles metaphor — Buzz adopting it, Gmail adopting it.
The assumption is that as it grows and ramps up, everything will move over to using the + infrastructure.
Schmidt said that he’s pleased with two particular aspects of the Google+ launch: One, that many people have been unhappy about not having an invite and, two, that many users seem to understand how it differs from Facebook.
You can listen to all of Schmidt’s comments on TechCrunch.