Celebs on Google+ – Shatner wants to expand social universe

20 Jul 2011

Unlikely Google+ early adopter William Shatner (aka Star Trek’s Captain Kirk) has already begun complaining about the limits of Circles on Google’s shiny new social networking engine, which he says needs to be expanded beyond 5,000, if it is to be a hit for Hollywood.

Writing on his Google+ profile, Shatner said: “Apparently, one can only have 5,000 plusers in total in all their circles. I do apologise for those not yet in one of my circles. I would hope that Google lifts this limit or comes up with an alternative so I may add you. My best, Bill.”

Google itself appears anxious to put a celebrity skin on Google+, which is growing rapidly, surpassing 20m users at this point worldwide.

Rival platforms like Twitter and Facebook have made good use of fandom on their respective engines. Last week, it emerged that Lady Gaga and Rihanna were slugging it out with 40.5m fans apiece on Facebook, with a margin of just 22,000 between them. At the time of writing this morning, Rihanna is ahead with 41,026,559 fans, versus Lady Gaga, who has 40,898,714 fans.

Celebrities already on Google+ include actor Ashton Kutcher and singers Taylor Swift and Kanya West. Heck, even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on Google+ and has amassed some 272,925 followers.

Celebrities win users, it’s that simple. The question is will celebs voluntarily sign up as is the case with Shatner, or will Google get their PRs to trawl talent agencies. Only time will tell.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years