View Full Version : How Google Plus doing anyway?

03-24-2014, 02:22 PM
How Google Plus is doing anyways
Google's latest social network effort was launched in 2011, to much skepticism. After all, following Wave and Buzz, Google didn't have the greatest track record in social networking sites. But now it's 2014, and Google+ is still ticking away. It might not have killed Facebook, but it's still hanging on in there and has more or less managed to become part of the established internet landscape.

Google is massively keen to encourage you to join the party too. If you want to comment on YouTube, for instance, you need a Google+ account; if you want to leave a review on an Android app, you need a Google’s account; and Google Talk, the chat service integrated into Gmail, has been renamed Hangouts and dragged over into the Google+ camp.

This relentless sign-up drive seems to be working: the latest stats, announced in November, say that Google+ has 300 million active monthly users. That's a pretty impressive number: it's not quite the 1.19 billion active monthly users Facebook can boast, but it's more than Twitter's 232 million active monthly users.

However, who are these people, and what are they using Google+ for Well, for starters, the people on Google+ aren't people I know: I don't use it, and when I asked around, none of my friends said they did either. That's a small sample, and it's only anecdotal evidence, but it's a place to start. I asked, via the Admins Point Facebook account, whether you guys were using Google+, and only few persons said they did, in a sea of nos. A couple of people said they had an account because they wanted to use YouTube but didn't actually use the network. I checked a few local businesses, and of the few that had Google+ accounts in addition to their Facebook pages, the numbers were pretty dismal.

In one case, 20 people had added an account to their Circles, compared with 1,050 who'd liked the Facebook page. A bit more digging into Google's own stats revealed an interesting quirk: people don't spend a lot of time browsing the Google+ site. Studies found that users spent, on average, six minutes and 67 minutes per month on Google+.

That's per month, in case you missed that. Most of us have spent that long on Facebook before breakfast, every single day. But people do use the Hangouts feature, and people do use the photo editing features - both things that used to exist separately from Google+ and have since been mashed into the new service. Maybe it's still too early to draw any meaningful conclusions, but it seems like Geoqle+ is one service that people didn't ask for because they really didn't want it.