Speaking at a press event on Thursday at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, former Google CEO and now Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave a 70 minute talk to the relatively few reporters that are here about various topical Google issues, including the most topical of Google issues, the launch of Google+.
When asked by a reporter how he would gauge the success of Google+ Schmidt replied, validly, “Well it’s been out for a week!” before going on to say that the biggest marker of its success was the fact that “An infinite amount of people are unhappy because they don’t have their invitation.” He later went on to say that the amount of people who had invitations but weren’t let in because of high demand was the greatest problem the service was facing. “We’re reviewing it on Monday,” he said.
Schmidt also seemed pleased that people seemed to understand that Google+ was different than Facebook.
“Circles is particularly well suited to the contact list you have in your phone, we have a somewhat different view of privacy. We tried to build a system that you could use for the relationships over time. The people who built the Internet did not get a stable version of identity; You need identity, in the sense that you are a person, this is who you are these are your friends and so on … The issue on the Internet is not the lack of Facebook, the issue on the Internet is the lack of identity. “
When asked by reporters whether Google planned eventually to fill out Google+ with other products, Schmidt answered, “Yeah, and there’s a lot coming,” saying that business accounts and ads are expected, assuming Google+ continues to grow. “We test stuff and when it works we put a lot more emphasis on it,” he said.
When pressed to reveal how many people were part of the Google+ beta currently Schmidt replied, “I don’t know but it’s millions, it’s a lot.”