Google's Social Strategy Shows Signs Of Unravelling

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em: Google's social researcher Paul Adams is joining Facebook.

Yesterday, news of Facebook’s new hire, Paul Adams, an ex-Googler who was the most vocal critic of Facebook’s social strategy, served as a sign that Google’s social strategy could be quickly unraveling.

First, Google postponed the delay of the product now known as “Google +1”, and then more reports came out that the product was slowed by infighting. Now one of the company’s most vocal social advocates has decided to jump ship and hop aboard Facebook’s warship, which continues to press forward at an incredible pace. While it’s nowhere near the end for Google’s social efforts, there’s no doubt that it shows increasing signs of weakness at a time when the team couldn’t have any worse PR.

Yesterday Paul Adams tweeted:

After ~4 years in the awesome Google UX team it’s time for a change + I’m excited to be joining Facebook in the New Year.

Granted, if Google is able to pull it together and finally launch their social product and obtain rave reviews, it would serve as a bright spot in the company’s otherwise tarnished social record. For now there is very little that we can read into beyond this being a major loss for Google, however we’ll be waiting to see what other news leaks out of Google as the company moves toward the official launch of the “Google +1” project.