Google’s ‘#ifihadglass’ winners are mostly celebs and famous Twitter users

by: David GonzalesMarch 30, 2013

Google Glass Press (3)
While the Google Glass Explorer competition debacle drags on, and thousands of people go up in arms over Google’s seemingly random choices for winners of its “#ifihadglass” gig on Twitter and Google+, a Stanford CS Ph.D student by the name of Andrej Karpathy put together some data in an attempt to show what Google’s overall plan for this whole thing might have been. As it turns out, Google might have had a clear criteria for choosing competition winners after all.

Based on the data gathered by Karpathy after going through the profiles of all the competition winners on Twitter (by using Python and a little hackery), Google apparently chose mostly celebrities and famous Twitter personalities to win in its competition. These include actor Patrick J. Adams, R&B singer Brandy, and TV host Adam Savage. It’s also clear that an overwhelming majority of the winners had hundreds, if not thousands of followers on Twitter. This is thought to be a clear indication of what Google used for its winner selection process.

When it was revealed that a number of the winners of Google’s “#ifihadglass” competition didn’t deserve to win at all — through either failing to read the competition’s rules or simply demonstrating a clear lack of will to even participate in the first place — many were outraged. A lot of them had submitted entries to compete for the chance to try out Google Glass as well.

Google recently announced that it will rescind some of its Google Glass offers because of the controversy surrounding its #ifihadglass competition. The question now is, will the company own up to what the hard evidence here says, and talk about why it did what it did in selecting the “winners” of its contest? If it does, then it just might be fun to watch.

  • MasterMuffin

    of course it chose the ones who will be the most likely to bring more customers. What company would it be if it just gave them away to random people with no followers? I’m not saying that it’s right, I’m just, well, sayin’ :)

    • Have you actually looked at the list? Many, many users with less than 100 followers whom are completely random people received invites.

      • MasterMuffin

        Yes, because:
        A) Maybe Google thought that it wouldn’t get noticed if it gave few to random people too
        B) Don’t be evil

        • So how does your retarded theory still fit in?

          • MasterMuffin

            Don’t know, it’s retarded so I guess it will fit in greatly with your comments :P

  • Keith Myers

    I was selected as a winner of #ifihadglass and am hardly a celebrity by any means. I do have a few hundred Google Plus followers but this is mainly because of the groups/communities that I am a member of.

    • JosephHindy

      I think that’s why there is the word “mostly” in the title there bud ;)

      • Keith Myers

        I guess, if true, that it may be Google’s way to get the word out to non-technies

        • JosephHindy

          Frankly, this info doesn’t surprise me at all. If it were me I’d do about the same thing. The first few names on that list alone have the potential to show Project Glass to millions upon millions of people. More people need to know!

        • Phil Nolan

          Apparently “mostly” means around 3%.

    • Phil Nolan

      I was also selected, I’m not hardly a celeb either. This article is really BS though. If you look at the very very long list of accepted people only like 20 or so are famous.

  • aholsteinson

    It makes perfect sense for Google to mostly pick up both Celebrities and people with a large following for this as they are the ones with the biggest audience and likelihood of getting others to use Glass. Many not so popular people were picked up, which is nice but I don’t think there should be any issue with them picking mostly popular ones.

  • Makes perfect sense to select users with most followers on Google+ and Twitter. Google should have donr the same to select winners to buy tickets for Google I/O. Google can thus get 10x to 100x more coverage online by doing this type of selection of the most influential fans among all peoplr who apply.

  • Running to see if I was selected, I feel I’m kind of a celeb.. Ok we’ll in my mind anyways.
    But thank you for considering me!

  • Al Navas

    I see you ARE stirring the pot. Nothing more, nothing less. Similar to so many people who “report” that Google+ is a desert, or some such nonsense.

    I was selected for the #glassexplorer program. NO celebrity, not a great twitter. Trash results and analysis, if you truly believe “most were celebrities”.

    • I’m pretty sure this guy just did a search twitter (with twitter api using python of course) and count in the first result. Top results usually have more followers. For example, if you search Al Navas, a guy with 30k+ followers appears on top. In other words, this Ph.D student is a retard (or these journalists are misreporting the findings).

      • Al Navas

        The data set is fine, Paruhang. It is the analysis of the data that irritates me. Either the author has NO idea how to analyze data, or chooses to ignore the meaning of the results.

        It is very sad that his report would go to this extreme, when many of us will get Glass even though we are not famous, etc. Maybe his intent WAS to cause negative reaction, a technique used by more journalists, to attract readership.

  • Phil Nolan

    I wouldn’t say it’s mostly celebrities. It’s a really long list and I saw some celebs on top, but as I scrolled down I saw no names I recognized.

  • Bill Burch

    You can judge the size of a person’s character by the size of their problems.

  • People complaining that they didn’t win seems very immature to me. It makes perfect sense that they had certain criteria for winners; it isn’t like they were going let someone who had no social influence on anyone other than a small amount of people. And you didn’t need to have many followers to win, either; tons and tons of people won with small amounts of people in their social community. It is very easy to get 100 followers on twitter if you try. If you didn’t get selected it is probably by no ones fault other than your own, or it may partly be luck of the draw.

    It is quite similar to a giveaway and how people complain about not winning. The only difference with this is that you as a person entering had far more capability to get selected by your own doing, and not by random chance.

    Yeah, the celebrity thing is kind of unfair, but what were you expecting? With the amount of winners compared to how many people were actually selected for the program, the ones selected from being “famous” were insignificant.

    It is saddening to me that people are being this immature about something like this, you entered, you lost, get over it; life is not a bag of goodies for you to pick whatever you want from it.

  • Alex C

    I think I have to add to this, I just got selected. I barely use Google+, few followers, and few posts too! I won’t lie, getting into the Glass Explorers program will encourage me to use Google+ more.

  • I was selected and I have a whopping 32 followers and 12 total tweets.

  • I won and I’m not famous at all. Not rich,not popular.

    • MasterMuffin

      But now you are! :D

  • Reign Johnson

    If you take the time to write an article like this one would think that you would respond to some of the comments, there are some pretty solid holes in your logic here.

  • theteatiger

    I find it sad that people literally “fight” to pay 1500 dollars for a device, and we complain that we are in a recession.

  • I am not a celebrity or twitter guru….but I am in!

  • I wouldn’t criticize them too heavily for picking a handful of famous people. They DO want to sell this thing, after all, and famous people = exposure. Did Google ever say they wouldn’t be choosing strategically?

  • IfIWereYou

    I’m not surprised. I found out how much it cost to get Glass Explorer after you won, $1500 plus tax. Only a Celeb could afford something like that, and for me, I’d have to fly out to NYC to be trained in using it. I’m a college student, I’d have had to take a loan out to afford Glass.

  • At the end of the day, this is a chance for Google to market these devices the best way possible. Everyone that isn’t a celebrity or twitter celeb is peanuts to Google. The data doesn’t lie.

  • Andre

    I won, off my G+ account… I have 17 people in my circle.

  • What about Google+ entries? wondering how would that analysis differ

  • I also got an invite and I am a normal person from MN

  • JayMC

    These statistics are being looked at in the wrong way. The only people who are entering this competition are people who are into technology, early adoption and money to burn on glasses. Getting hundreds of followers on twitter is not hard. Is it really that hard to believe that these types of people wouldn’t win the competition and have a reasonable amount of followers on social media?

  • phreezerburn

    If there isn’t a few actual technicians using these things to access schematics and tech journals onsite, with the results well documented, then these things are destined for that same shelf that the Apple Newton and the Quicktake 100 call home. A gadget for those who can afford and instantly forgettable by the rest of us. With a GoPro providing a better POV movie camera (upcoming button cams) and the next gen of voice recognition so close at hand, this could end up as a seriously short ride for Google if they can’t display that Glass is a serious tool.