Haute 100 Update: Mark Zuckerberg Joins Rival Network Google+, and Here’s Why

Haute 100 San Francisco member Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has gotten an account on rival social service Google+, and he’s not the only one at Facebook to do so. According to Social Beat, at least 62 Facebook employees have reportedly also signed up for the competing service, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor. The young billionaire doesn’t seem to understand what all the fuss is about, commenting, “Why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google+ account?”

When it comes down to it, perhaps there shouldn’t be any surprise. Google+ is intended to compete with the social media giant. With huge leaps towards that goal – at a pace of over 10 million new users in less than a month – it makes sense that Facebook employees would scope out the competition.

Additionally, publishers are reporting that Google+ has experienced a boost in referral traffic that equals Facebook’s, making it a target for businesses, as well. For example, Dell reportedly wants to utilize Google+’s video chat feature “Hangouts” for their customer service. With all of this new attention and excitement surrounding their rival, the best way for Facebook to counter-strategize seems to be to actually join it and check it out for themselves.

So far, it seems to be working. Zuckerberg recently demonstrated Facebook’s new Skype video chat integration on July 6. He commented, “I view a lot of this [Google+ launch] as validation as to how the next five years are going to play out. Our job is to stay focused [on Facebook].”

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