Google preps Google+ for Facebook challenge

Internet giant's plans to integrate key products such as Google Docs and search to its social networking platform to help keep pace with Facebook, report notes.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Google will be rolling out major enhancements for its social networking platform Google+, such as integration of search and Google Docs, over the next three months in a bid to bridge the gap with rival Facebook.

According to a Financial Times report on Wednesday, the Internet giant will be looking to compete better with market leader Facebook with major improvements to its Google+ platform. The first round of enhancements will include incorporating Google Docs, the word processing application which will make collaborating on documents easier "within days", and its search function with the networking platform, noted Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering, in the report.

Subsequently, all of Google's Web offerings "are going to be fundamentally changed by the Google+ graph", he added.

Users of multiple Google services, for instance, will be able to rely on a single system for sharing across the different platforms and not have to wonder whether to share content using Google+ or YouTube, Gundotra explained.

He also said the company is delighted with the more than 40 million users who have registered for its social networking service, but acknowledged the figure is still less than a tenth of Facebook's user base. The executive declined to say how many daily active users the platform has, though.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who sat in on the same interview, noted that Google was cleaning up its multiple brands in order to make them less confusing and said Google+ would be one of the core products going forward.

While in the past, the company wanted to let "a thousand flowers bloom", Brin noted that once these flowers bloom, "you [would] want to present them in a coherent bouquet".

Google had earlier showed its determination to streamline its operations by shuttering Buzz, Photovine and Fast Flip, among others, in recent weeks.

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