Remember when Ashton Kutcher won that race to get to 1 million Twitter followers in 2009? Well, this race is beginning with Google+ followers, sort of.
Google+ is deciding to show its most followed users here. Mark Zuckerberg tops the list with 77.8k, Larry Page with 44.7k, Sergey Brin with 34.2k, and Vic Gundotra with 25.5k.
The obvious irony here is that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leads the Google+ social world ahead of three Google executives. Google+, of course, is seen as Google's attempt to compete with Facebook in the social space.
Google+, however, may also be gunning for Twitter.
Currently, the top Google+ followed user (Zuckerberg) pales in comparison with the top Twitter followed user, Lady Gaga, who has 11.5 million followers.
Of course, Google+ is still in its infancy and is actively restricting user signups. When it fully launches, it can catch on very quickly because of Google's name recognition and huge number of existing users (on Google Search, Gmail, etc.)
When I first heard about Google+, I brushed it off as a Twitter competitor because I thought Google intended it to be a private affair like email blasts or mass texts.
However, its ranking of the most followed users and preparation for corporate accounts indicates otherwise. Google seems to want Google+ to be able to serve as a user-to-world tool, much like Twitter.
What it may end up being is Twitter on steroids.
Twitter allows users to send short texts to the world. It then allows anyone to see through what the Twittersphere is saying.
Google+ intends to do (some versions) of both features. In addition, it features video chat, potentially allows the sharing of more types of content (e.g. documents, calendar, etc.), and will potentially be better integrated with mobile phones.
Perhaps most importantly, it allows for the segregation of groups, which can be extremely advantageous. For example, Apple can have a circle for the general public and a circle of each product. That way, customers can pick and choose exactly what they want to receive from the Apple Google+ account.
As Google+ gets up and running, it'll likely see a similar race to 1 million. Twitter, meanwhile, will anxiously look on.