Facebook had 12 years to get to its current state. Google+ has only been open for twelve months at the most.
During Google's Big Tent event taking place just outside London, executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that Google+ is unfairly compared to Facebook. The comment was made after he was pressed about the social network's perceived lack of success when compared to the older rival.
On Wednesday Schmidt reportedly went into defensive mode during the interview. He promised that more was to come from Google+ despite rumors claiming that the site has become a "ghost town" even though the total user base states otherwise.
"What I like is that these rumors create a target from internals [internal figures] we don't have, comparing us to a competitor that is exceedingly well managed, well-run and is 12 years old," he stated.
As Schmidt pointed out, Facebook has had twelve years to evolve. Expecting Google+ to come out of the oven and have immediate success against the elder, more experienced competitor is simply unfair.
"If Google is as successful with Google+ in less than the 12 years Facebook has been around, we'll be very happy with that," he said. "The fact of the matter is that maybe Google is one of those companies where we can't really grow [things] any more – we have to start huge."
The reality of it all, he said, is that the company's Google+ efforts started within the last six to twelve months. So far Google's social website has obtained more than 150 million users, which isn't too shabby considering its age.
"Google+ is doing better than I expected given the competitors in the market and the success [of Facebook]. Do I think it's a success? Absolutely. Absolutely," he added.
Schmidt naturally didn't divulge any information about what's coming up next for Google+ in the feature department, only that Hangouts appears to be the current breakout product. Users will likely see more Google+ integration into other Google services that "make sense," and move Google+ beyond the base social networking structure.
"From our perspective, there's value in creating that social graph, independent of whether Google+ is an end user success, which we obviously want," he said. "Don't you think that YouTube will be better if we have information on who your friends are, targeting videos for you? Don't you think that with Google Search - again I must stress with your permission - that Google will do a better job [if it knows] who you are and what you care about?"
"It [will make] Google more effective," he concluded. "We're already beginning to see that in our core business."