Google+ bids for social (network) standing

On Tuesday, the company detailed Google+, its long-expected social leap that takes jabs at Facebook in an effort to steal friends and ad money away from its rival. In a blog post touting Google+, company engineer Vic Gundotra criticized existing social networks for turning “friendships into fast food.” He criticized those efforts as “scary,” “sloppy” and “insensitive.”

“They’re jabs at the models,” Gundotra later said in defending his remarks.

Whatever the case, the search giant’s Google+ social launch represents Google’s first major push to tie together social projects under one wagon as it steps up its drive against Facebook.

Google needs to come out swinging: Facebook has an estimated 750 million members worldwide. EMarketer forecasts that Facebook will steal the display advertising crown from Yahoo, leaving the search-ad giant in the No. 3 position. Facebook is expected to snag 17.7% of the display advertising market for 2011. That compares with estimates for Yahoo at 13.1% and Google at 9.3%.

“Facebook is taking away advertising that would otherwise go to Google or Yahoo,” IDC analyst Karsten Weide says. “They (Google) want to bolster the social content to capture advertising.”.. Read More [via usatoday]

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