Considering the raging debate over the true performance of Google+, you might have figured Google's management would have carved out at least a couple of minutes to tout its social network during the company's Q4 2012 conference call. Especially in the aftermath of Facebook's recent debut of Graph Search.
And you would have been wrong.
Social networking wasn't on the agenda today as a talking point as management spent more than an hour yakking about nearly every aspect of the company's business -- with the exception of Google+.
In the past year, there's been no shortage of commentary about Google+. A study published last May by RJ Metrics caused a stir when it said that data from a sample of 40,000 public Google+ accounts revealed weak user engagement and minimal social activity. (Among the paper's conclusions: 30% of users who make public posts on Google+ never make a second one; among users making publicly-viewable posts, there was an average of 12 days between each post; etc.)
Google has countered the criticisms as missing the mark, touting the fast growth of the service as well as its accelerating momentum, including 500 million people with profiles, 235 million people using at least one of its features (like +1ing a Web page), and 135 million visiting plus.google.com monthly.
We've contacted Google for comment and will update this post when we have further information.