As Facebook prepares to file for its IPO, the debate rages on about whether or not Google's relatively young social network can ever catch up.
The discussion has even made its way to the airwaves, catching time on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." On Tuesday's episode, Stewart jabbed at Google+ after the network had scored what many would consider a huge endorsement from President Barack Obama.
"The Daily Show" segment featured clips from Obama's Monday night online town hall, which was hosted via a Google+ video chat, which Google calls a "hangout." The President used the feature to field live questions from several participants and also accepted questions submitted as pre-recorded YouTube videos, according to the AP.
During the Q&A, Obama discussed topics such as jobs, the economy, Internet piracy and copyright protection, and he even offered to personally help an unemployed man find a job. Jon Stewart mocked the awkwardness of the President's interactions with participants and made a dig about how Google users don't actually use Google+, despite the company gradually integrating Google+ features into web services like Gmail and YouTube.
Said Stewart: "Barack Obama [yesterday] was conducting a virtual town hall on Google+. Yes, Google+. Or, as all Gmail users know it, 'What the F--- is that thing up there? Is there any way I turn that off?'" (The top left-hand corner of the Gmail interface now features a +Username tab that links directly to the user's Google+ profile.)
Stewart continued, saying, "But the chat mostly boiled down to 'So, Mr. President, help me,' sometimes on a surprisingly micro level." He then rolled a clip from the town hall, when a woman told Obama that her husband, an engineer with more than 10 years of experience, said her husband was having trouble finding a job after being laid off. "If you send me your husband's resume," the president said, "I'd be interested to find out exactly what's happening."
"You're taking resumes?" Stewart wondered aloud. "Don't you have s--- to do? Aren't there other things on your plate? What are you going to do with his resume? 'Mr. President the Russians have just launched missels.' 'Yes, I'll be there in one second. Did you know Carl is proficient in Excel?'"
Despite the "Daily Show" razzing, Google+ is gaining clout in the tech world. The service was given a Crunchie Award on Tuesday in the category of Best Social Application, beating out the Facebook Timeline, Instagram, New New Twitter, and Path 2.0.
The number of users signing up for the service is also skyrocketing, though Google hasn't mentioned how active these users are on the site. At the company's recent earnings call on January 19, Google announced that the service had attracted 90 million users since it launched in June of 2011. What's more, Paul Allen, the service's unofficial statistician, posted on his Google+ account on February 1 that the social network has been adding 750,000 new users every day since January 19.
"If that rate holds steady, Google+ will end the year with 345 million users," wrote Allen.
Check out Jon Stewart's segment on Google+ (below).
WATCH: [via Business Insider]