On today’s earnings call, Sergey Brin didn’t say much about his new role leading “new products” for Google, but Eric Schmidt referred a question about Google’s social strategy to him.
Google’s social strategy is critically important as Facebook begins to drive more Internet traffic — and take a larger percentage of overall Internet ad dollars. Right now, Google has multiple groups pursuing different social strategies, and they’re plagued by political infighting. Putting a respected leader — like a company cofounder — in charge is a first step toward resolving the problem.
Here’s the exchange, taken from Google’s recording of the earnings call (with some filler words and phrases stripped out):
Imran Khan, JP Morgan: As Google gets to the next level, how do you think about real-time search and social networking platforms:
Schmidt: Sergey, you’ve been driving most of this, and maybe Larry, you could comment as well.
Brin: You pointed out two important trends. One is the notion of real time, and the other is the broad notion of social in terms of identity relationships and so forth. Both of those are very important to search. In fact, you’ve seen us roll out functionality along those lines. First of all, we have real-time updates built into our search, which includes Twitter and other sources. You’ve also seen us deploy social search, which allows you to find search results that are related to people who you know and friends of their friends and so forth.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg and there’s far more opportunity. We’ve touched just 1% of the capabilities that could be deployed in that realm, and you should expect us to continue to develop those kinds of capabilities.
Page: The last part of what Sergey says really resonates with me. If you think about the next five years and what your life will be like, online, socially, and what kind of things the tools will be able to do, we’re only at the very very early stages, and I’m incredibly excited about the possibilities.