Google+ now has more than 40 million users, and Google chief executive Larry Page told analysts that the company is well on its way toward using G+ data to transform users' experiences with the company's services.
In a quarterly conference call with analysts this afternoon, Page said Google's goal is to customize the Web for users based on what it learns from their social-media experience. The company added 100 Google+ features in its first 90 days, helping it better understand users and tailor its search results.
"It's still incredibly early days for Google+ because our goal is actually far bigger than the individual feature launches themselves," Page said. "Our ultimate ambition is to transform the overall Google experience, making it beautifully simple, almost automagical, because we understand what you want and can deliver it instantly."
Of course, that's the point of Google+. The company was slow to appreciate the significance of social networking and the impact it could have on search.
Google+ isn't just an attempt to catch up to Facebook and Twitter. It's a bid to gain more knowledge about the people who use Google so the company can surface more relevant results for each individual user in searches. That's a holy grail for advertisers. If Google can pull that off with Google+, it should boost search revenue for the company.
That's what Page means by automagical--searches that automatically deliver results that take into account user's interests, culled from their G+ experience.
"This means baking identity and sharing into all of our products so that we build a real relationship with our users," Page said. "Sharing on the web will be like sharing in real life across all your stuff. You'll have better, more relevant search results and ads."
With more than 40 million users, Google+ has enough scale to generate data that Google+ can turn into useful search signals. That was the first step. Now, Page said, the company is going to work hard to bake those signals into the overall Google experience.
"Think about it this way," Page said. "Last quarter, we've shipped the plus, and now we're going to ship the Google part."