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Larry Page Now More Popular Than Facebook's Zuckerberg On Google+

<p>Larry Page.</p>
Nati Harnik

Larry Page.

That headline may seem insignificant — you know that Larry Page, Google's CEO, now has more followers on Google+ than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — but in the tech world it's seen as tea leaves that hint at the future of the social network.

Remember Google launched the service in effort to compete against Facebook. So Danny Sullivan writes on Search Engine Land, this had become Google's "Mark Zuckerberg problem."

Sullivan points out that Page didn't exactly get more than 600,000 followers by wit and charm alone. Google+ instituted a "suggested users" screen that pushes users to follow Page.

But Sullivan also gets past the corporate rivalry and looks at what it means that Page and Zuckerberg are the most popular people on the platform:

While Zuckerberg is finally out of the top spot at Google+, he can still console himself knowing that he has over 800 million members at his own service, 9 million of who follow Zuckerberg's account there.

Of course, even on Facebook, Zuckerberg isn't the most popular person there. Far from it. The most popular person being followed on Facebook, as reported by the All Facebook Facebook Page Leaderboard, is Eminem with nearly 50 million fans.

That's perhaps a good thing, however. It indicates that Facebook (and this is true of Twitter, too), is a mainstream service where what's popular in real life is popular in the virtual world of social networking.

For Google+, when Page is overtaken by mainstream celebrities, that"ll likely be a sign that Google+ has gained wider adoption.

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.