After weeks of intense lobbying from fans, Google has announced it is adopting “Bob” as the new mascot for Google Plus, the company’s social networking platform.
Bob, a friendly, funny stick figure, first appeared several years ago. It is believed he was created by a group of Google fans who had decided the company needed a mascot to replace the colorful but increasingly tiresome logo that has remained almost unchanged since the company’s founding in 1998.
Earlier this month, the company merged Google Plus with the commenting system on YouTube, which Google bought in 2006. Fans leapt into action, showing their approval of the move by copying and pasting images of Bob all over YouTube. Some estimate that Bob has appeared in over 100 million video comments.
“Above all else, Google aims to please its users and make their lives more enriching,” said Google cofounder Sergey Brin, who introduced Bob at a social media conference Friday. “Users were saying to us, ‘Look, we really love Google, but don’t you think it’s time for a little makeover?”
“To our users we would like to say thank you,” Brin said. “Thank you for giving us Bob, a funny little man who represents the pared-down simplicity that Google fans have come to expect.”
In addition to appearing on the Google Plus homepage, Bob will eventually become a graphic helper who will pop up whenever Google Plus detects a user is confused by the new YouTube commenting system.
“He’s really cute,” said Christina Woods, a 14-year-old blogger who writes about social networking and fashion. “Look at him with his little arms.”