When it comes to social media networks, Google+ is like the forgotten middle child of the family. It's not horrible but it's not really memorable either. But according to Google's new head of social media, David Besbris, Google+ is in the social media business for the "long haul."
Of course, many are still skeptical, especially after the previous head of social media, Vic Gundotra, left the company earlier this year. That, partnered with the fact that connections were severed between Google+ and other Google services, such as Gmail, has created doubt about the social media network's future.
However, in a recent interview, Besbris made it clear that Google+ is still important to the company. Google is still invested in the service, and has even added members to the Google+ development team.
"We're actually very happy with the progress of Google+, [CEO Larry Page] said this at the time that Vic transitioned that he's going to continue working on building this stuff, that he's very happy with it," says Besbris. "The company is behind it. I have no idea where these rumors come from to be honest with you."
Google+ has met with a lot of criticism over the course of its life. Although users praised some of the network's features, critics often called it a "ghost town."
One specific feature that makes Google+ stand out amongst its competitors, particularly Twitter and Facebook, is that it doesn't have ads. Although Besbris stated that ads could sometimes be useful, when relevant, he doesn't feel that they're particularly relevant to Google+ or its users.
"They won't convert well, they won't be beneficial, and it kind of just pollutes the space. I think for a social place that tends to be very intimate where you're having conversations with people, you're sharing pictures, you're exploring things you're really into, you don't want to be at that point bombarded with noise," says Besbris.
Besbris stated that if, at some point, Google+ did decide on ads for the network, although highly unlikely, they would receive a unique "Googley spin."
Besbris also feels that people don't truly understand Google+ and how it connects users around similar interests. He feels that the Google approach to social media is different and makes the experience more social. The Circles feature of the network allows users to choose specifically who and what they share with, based on interests, unlike any other social media network available.
Besbris reiterated that Google+ is still a high priority for the company. Personally, although he's happy with the current mobile app, he hopes to continue working on ways to improve it.