Feeds

Google+ maker Vic Gundotra: My work on this 'NETWORK THINGY' is DONE

Job done, log off, time to head into the California sunset

Security for virtualized datacentres

Comment Now that Google's "network thingy" is melded into the web giant's product line-up, the man behind Google+ Vic Gundotra has quit Mountain View to pursue a yet-to-be-revealed new venture.

Arguably, his work is largely done at Google, a company that has routinely shied away from describing Google+ as a social network.

In 2012, Gundotra skirted around that label by instead claiming to have built the "the fastest growing network thingy ever."

But what exactly is the "thingy" he spoke of?

Google+ was created in the aftermath of bumbling efforts from Google to knit together its vast online estate by slurping up user identities that it could then follow around the web.

The purpose was to target ads at them by pushing for Gmail users to have the same ID on YouTube, for example. This is now finally a reality, courtesy of Google+.

But Google has spent years building its ID silo, after its Buzz blunder, significantly overseen by Gundotra, led to the company being berated for failing to offer appropriate privacy controls for those users not keen to overshare via their email accounts.

Google's efforts to slurp up IDs via its Gmail product was effectively derailed because the ad giant's strategy was wrong.

With Google+, it fixed that screwup. Over the last three years since it débuted, the company has painstakingly chiselled away at its products and very slowly slipped its "network thingy" into more and more of its estate.

In January, Digg founder Kevin Rose - who had worked on the development of Google+ - said that it was wrong for the company to link Google+ to Gmail. He added: "If Google+ users need to communicate, build an internal messaging tool."

But using Google+ as a social network is really just a side-effect of its main purpose: to build an identity system for Google.

It now has 540 million such profiles, of which around 300 million people are said to be active in the Google+ "stream".

With half a billion IDs slurped, the job of Google+ is largely done. Consider too that any users of Google products are now nudged into creating a profile that they use across the multinational's estate and it becomes clear that Google now has a burgeoning network - not of engagement on Google+ - but of identities.

It has been rumoured that Gundotra was recently spotted "interviewing" for a new job. The ex-Microftie didn't reveal where he might end up. Might Twitter be calling him?

According to Gundotra, that news is for another day.

Google boss Larry Page, meanwhile, said on Thursday: "We’ll continue working hard to build great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.