The most successful social networks play on mankind’s tendency toward competition and vanity. Hence coveting thy neighbor’s number of Twitter followers, Foursquare badges, and Facebook friends. But Larry and Sergey didn’t even have to bake gamification elements into Google+. Somebody did that for them.
Thanks to Google+ Statistics creator Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Google’s attempt to best Facebook now has its own leaderboard ranking Google+ users by their number of followers. Unfortunately even on the anti-Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg easily took the top spot. “He has the most friends in the world, they made a movie about him, and he is more handsome than the Larry and Sergey,” Mr. van Zanten told TechCrunch.
With Google+ still in beta, the leaderboard is skewed towards early-adopters and therefore very tech scene-centric.
Even Ashton Kutcher, for example, is all the way down at No. 61, behind Expert Labs and Activate co-founder Anil Dash (No. 44), TechCrunch’s MG Siegler (No. 9), and a whole mess of Google employees, like Matt Cutts (No. 6), who heads up Google’s anti-spam brigade and VP of engineering Vic Gundotra (No. 3), which makes you wonder if Google forced all of its employees to sign up and follow their bosses.