Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only Facebook employee using Google’s new social offering, Google+. At least 62 Facebook employees have signed up for the competing social service, according to an unofficial list compiled by Huffington Post Senior Editor Craig Kanalley.
“Why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google+ account?” Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said in a text message to tech news personality Robert Scoble last week.
Presumably, many of his employees share their boss’ attitude toward Google+.
The list includes many from Facebook’s executive team, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor. Unlike Twitter, Google doesn’t verify the identity of popular users accounts. However, hovering over many of the Facebook employees on the list revealed that they were following each other, which at least suggests that these accounts are legitimate.
It makes sense that Facebook’s team would want to check out Google+. First of all, the service is intended as a competitor to Facebook. Its experienced massive growth of over 10 million new users in less than a month. Increasingly, publishers are reporting a boost in referral traffic from Google+ that’s equal to Facebook. Even businesses are frothing at the mouth to start utilizing all the new features Google+ has to offer. Dell, for instance, wants to use Google+’s Hangouts video chat feature for customer service.
If Facebook wants to anticipate a counter strategy for Google+, the company needs to understand what its up against.
So, what are Facebook employees saying over Google+? After adding everyone on the list to a separate circle, I’m noticing that the activity of public chatter is pretty low. Only a handful of employees are regularly interacting on Google+. The most popular responses are asking others about the service (like many people have done during the past few weeks).
Facebook hasn’t responded to a request for an official comment on Google+ usage within the office. However, Zuckerberg did share his opinion on the new social service July 6, during the live demonstration of Skype video chat integration into Facebook.
“I view a lot of this (Google+ launch) as validation as to how the next five years are going to play out,” Zuckerberg said. “Our job is to stay focused (on Facebook).”