Google+ Aims to More Than Double Users This Year, Executive Says

March 9 (Bloomberg) -- Vic Gundotra, senior vice president at Google Inc., talks about the company's Google+ social-networking service. He speaks with Jon Erlichman at the 2012 South by Southwest event in Austin, Texas, on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Google Inc. (GOOG) aims to more than double the number of people on its social-networking service this year, which has already reached 100 million active users.

The growth of Google+ has surpassed any estimates the company had, said Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president in charge of social initiatives. Google unveiled the service last June, challenging the dominance of Facebook Inc.’s site.

“We’re pretty impressed,” Gundotra said in an interview yesterday on Bloomberg Television. “We’re pretty blown away by the adoption of Google+.”

Google added the social-networking service in a bid to keep users on its site longer and boost ad revenue. The company said in January that Google+ had topped 90 million members, more than double the amount in October. Still, its user base is dwarfed by Facebook Inc. (FB)’s 845 million-plus members. And ComScore Inc. estimates that Google+’s members spend a fraction of the time on the site than their Facebook counterparts.

Google+ is the basis for a broader shift at the Mountain View, California-based company, Gundotra said.

“Google+ could be viewed as Google 2.0,” he said. “Google+ is the next generational of all of Google becoming unified because it understands you and your relationships. And so all services get better.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Erlichman in New York at jerlichman1@bloomberg.net; Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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