Google+ still a challenge to Facebook

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Google Social Network
London, Oct 22: The newly launched Google+ is still going toe-to-toe with world's most popular social networking site Facebook.

"We are in an enviable position that we have people who come to Google," Vic Gundotra, vice president in charge of Google+ said at a Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Google+ has got more than 40 million users since it opened to the public about a month ago but has a long way to go to come up with Facebook's membership of approximately 800 million.

In future, programs offered as online services at Google Apps will work with Google+ accounts, which will eventually synch with other popular offerings such as YouTube.

Gundotra acknowledged that Facebook has the advantage of a "network affect", in that complex webs of friends are established there and people might find it daunting to up and relocate to Google+. "The incumbent has a huge advantage," Gundotra said. "If you play the same game, you are not going to win... So we are going to do it differently," he added.

According to executives, Google+ launched with a requirement that people use their real names online in order to let others find them more easily. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that initially Google+ was some what complex but has come to like the online community that lets users create "circles" of contacts depending on intimacy.

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