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Google profits soar while Google+ passes 40-million user mark

Google reports that its profit in the recently ended financial quarter climbed to US$2.73-billion on the back of soaring online advertising revenue.

“We had a great quarter,” said Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page.

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“Revenue was up 33% year on year and our quarterly revenue was just short of US$10-billion,” he added.

The internet giant took in US$9.72-billion in revenue in the quarter ending 30 September. The bulk of this revenue came from its various online properties.

Google stock jumped more than five percent to US$588.50 following the release of the earnings report.

Adding to investor confidence was an announcement that the internet giant’s social network, Google+, had topped the 40-million user mark.

“People are flocking to Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started,” Page said during an earnings conference call.

The CEO and co-founder added that a number of the social features on Google+ would be “baked in” to Google’s other online offerings.

“Last quarter we shipped ‘plus’ and now we are going to ship the Google part,” Page said of weaving social and sharing features throughout the firm’s platform.

“We are still at the very early stages of what technology can deliver,” he continued. “These tools we use online will look very different in five years time and we are building these tools into Google-plus.”

User numbers on Google+ have skyrocketed since the California-based internet giant opened up the social network to the public in late September.

The opening up came with a host of improvements from the invitation only test format which went live in late June.

One of the most unique enhancements to Google+ is a feature called “Hangouts on Air”, which allows users to broadcast video presentations to groups of watchers.

The Dalai Lama recently used Hangouts on Air to celebrate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s birthday with him. Google+ came to the rescue after the South African government refused to grant the exiled Tibetan leader a visa into the country.

A recently leaked memo, however, reveals that not all Google staff share Page’s enthusiasm for Google+.

In the memo, engineer Steve Yegge calls the site “a knee jerk reaction” and a “study in short-term thinking”.

Yegge accidentally shared the memo with the wider public on his Google+ page. In it, he slates Google for trying to develop a product similar to Facebook’s core offering.

“Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product,” he said. “But that’s not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone.”

He also blames the company for not sharing the site’s programming platform with developers who could have built the kind of apps which would have made Google+ a more solid offering.

The memo comes in the wake of news that traffic on Google+ had plunged more than 60% after a massive initial spike upon being made open to the public.

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