On Thursday, Google announced that Google+ (as in plus.google.com) has reached 135 million active users. “Today Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever," proclaimed Google SVP, Engineering, Vic Gundotra. "More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google (+1′ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search…), and 135 million are active in just the stream."
Gundotra spoke with Danny Sullivan in a keynote interview at SMX in Las Vegas Thursday night, where he talked about Google+ a lot more. In fact, the conversation is over an hour long. SMX has posted the video to YouTube (or is that Google+? Or is that just Google?):
Among other things, Gundotra talked about the new Communities feature, the launch of Snapsed for free, and how to interpret Google+ user numbers.
He also reminded everyone that there are six letters ahead of the "+" in Google+. "Google+ is the next version of Google," he said. "So, if you love YouTube, or Chrome, or Search, or Android, or Gmail, or Maps, we're bringing it all together...and it's exciting, even in its early stages to see this kind of momentum and growth."
"At some point, we're going to have a billion users who have upgraded to Google+, then when are we going to say that's just Google? That's just a Google user," he adds.
He acknowledged that they already have over billion users who are just logged in Google users (without giving any specific number). "It's just that Google never turned the light on," he explains, referencing the pre-Google+ days. "Your best friend, your mother, your cousin...they're on Google, but we never even asked them for their identity, so sharing between those two people was next to impossible."
I don't know if it was next to impossible, but Google+ is certainly making the connections among the products more obvious.
At one point in the conversation, Gundotra admits that he was told by his boss (Larry Page) to stop using Twitter - not just to represent Google+ above all other social networks, but because he tweeted about a couple of companies, and the tweets went "very, very viral, and made a lot of headline news."
He did note that he looks at Twitter and Facebook to keep an eye on things, saying that it's part of his job to keep up with "where the innovation is coming from".
Here's a liveblog of the session from Marketing Land, one of the conference's sister sites.