Schmidt Acknowledges Missing The Facebook Threat

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has finally admitted that he messed up with social media.

With nearly 700 million Facebook users and millions of users clicking on like buttons daily, the search giant is losing a lot of information. The central component that he regrets missing? Identity.

Schmidt was very direct in telling All Things Digital how he missed the opportunity to better compete with Facebook, back when he’d been chief executive officer of Google: “A CEO should take responsibility. I screwed up.”

It’s an issue that the company is battling with today, and it’s one of the driving forces behind the company’s decision to launch a +1 button. Google also went on an acquisition spree, snapping up just about every social application company that it could acquire in an effort to build an army of social strategists to help combat the Facebook threat. It appeared to be a last ditch effort to take on Facebook which has so far lead to a number of failed products.

While the +1 button appears to be somewhat promising, the company has yet to come up with any social aggregation solutions, or even more important: successful single identity solutions.

Larry Page, the current CEO of Google, has acknowledged that social is now the company’s number one priority for 2011. Almost halfway through the year the company has little traction in the space but with the impending launch of +1, I’m sure Page has high hopes that Google will finally gain more traction.

Let’s be honest: As the largest website on the Internet, Google has a major amount of fire power to attack the social problem. Most people would argue that social is not just a feature, instead something that must be grown organically.

Google is growing impatient though which means the company most likely take any steps necessary to combat the Facebook threat. Whether or not those steps will work,we’ll have to wait and see. For the foreseeable future, though, Google’s battle with Facebook will provide pundits with plenty of fodder.

Eric Schmidt photo is courtesy of Portfolio.com.

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