According to The Next Web, a senior Google executive was told to stop Tweeting by his boss, CEO Larry Page. This is may or may not seem a bit odd, given at the time the executive in question was responsible for social media at Google at the time.
Vic Gundotra was told to stop Tweeting after a controversial posting from him spread across the internet. He is now Senior Vice President of Engineering.
Speaking on stage at SMX Social Media Marketing 2012, Gundotra said:
“I was asked not to stop tweeting by my boss. I tweeted a tweet about two companies that went viral, went very very viral and made a lot of headline news. And honestly, I didn’t anticipate that my comments would be interpreted in the way they were interpreted.
I thought I was speaking to a relatively small number of people who followed me, a developer-oriented group, and instead it went mainstream. And so, uhm, I’ve curtailed my usage since then.”
The comment shows a rather fundamental misunderstanding of social media from someone who is meant to be leading development in that field for one of the worlds biggest tech firm. By definition if you are posting messages on the social web they can spread outside of your immediate audience. Such a misunderstanding perhaps hints at why Google have found it so hard to establish themselves in the social space.
That said, Google social network Google+ is continuing to grow. Facebook still dominates the space with 1 billion monthly active users, with Twitter on 135 million active users, Google+ is a bit harder to quantify given the amount of people that have a Google email address. However, Gundotra did blog yesterday that:
Today Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever. More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google (+1’ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search…), and 135 million are active in just the stream.
“Network thingy”? Something tells me Google are still now taking this quite as seriously as they should…