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Is Google+ Less Interesting than MySpace? New Data From Users Says Yes

Jim Tobin.
By: Jim Tobin  |   January 12, 2012  |   View Comments

Are you on Google+? If so, add Ignite Social Media's Google+ page to your circles.

An interesting nugget or two about Google+, how many people are using it and how long they stick around was hidden in a recent eMarketer newsletter on niche social networks growing in popularity.  While most of the data was around fastest growing social networks and which networks worldwide were attracting the most time spent, another chart grabbed my attention.


Google Plus' 15m Users Spend Only 5 Minutes Per Month

While some are claiming that Google+ has skyrocketed to 150 million users (up from 50 million a few months ago), well-regarded comScore Media Metrix found only 15.2 million unique visitors in November 11. That's about 9% of Facebook's 166 million unique visitors. Not a bad start, to be sure, but a little less dramatic than the other reports.

But what struck me most is how little time users spends on Google+ when they go. Google+ users spend only 5 minutes per month on the site. That compares to:

  • 12 minutes on MySpace (ouch);
  • 16 minutes on LinkedIn,
  • 24 minutes on Twitter;
  • 88 minutes on Pinterest;
  • 142 minutes on Tumblr; and
  • 394 minutes on Facebook.

So a decent number of users are coming to Google+ (about the same number as Tumblr, but not as many as MySpace), but they're not seeing much reason to stick around.

Don't Count Out Google+ Just Yet

While these numbers aren't exactly encouraging (the near term future looks brighter for Pinterest, whose users are clearly loving it), don't count out Google+ just yet. With the changes they are making to integrate Google+ into search, they are a major player making a major move.

Plus, I remember how slowly other very successful networks started. I was on LinkedIn for about 4 years before I saw much activity from my friends. And I first saw friends using Pinterest about a year or so ago. Suddenly that is what everyone is talking about. So between improvements to the site and the natural growth pattern of social networks, Google+ remains one to watch.

Having said that, if I were working on this network at Google, I'd spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make folks stick around longer.

Your thoughts?

What do you think? Are you using Google+ and loving it? Did you sign up and then only rarely go back? Are you completely over it or have you abandoned Facebook for it? Let us know in the comments.


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Comments
  • http://www.mazzastick.com/ Justin

    I noticed too that not as many people stay on Google + for a long time. I added post to Google + and received no comments and the same post on FaceBook and got several. I do believe that people who do business online should use Google + more since that will affect our search rankings.

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    I noticed too that not as many people stay on Google + for a long time. I added post to Google + and received no comments and the same post on FaceBook and got several. I do believe that people who do business online should use Google + more since that will affect our search rankings.

  • http://twitter.com/jtobin Jim Tobin

    That's what I'm watching closely Justin. Lots of backlash right now against Google putting + results in the stream though, so who knows how it will end up. 

  • http://twitter.com/jtobin Jim Tobin

    That's what I'm watching closely Justin. Lots of backlash right now against Google putting + results in the stream though, so who knows how it will end up. 

  • http://amzn.to/SalesTipsforWomen Danielmilsteinabc

    This is so true Jim. Your article is very interesting and useful for many of us. You're right that Google+ is not so advanced and interesting as My space. Its good for Business purpose or for search purpose but not as for social networking like Facebook and Twitter. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is that is the advancement and changes in Google is going on but the other sites have already done it before.

  • http://ericungs.com EricUngs

    Excellent.

    This is the data that people need to be paying attention to - not the number of "users". The user data doesn't tell any kind of story for a Google platform. Plus, we should expect those high levels of user signup simply because the Google ecosystem has been around for sometime. Majority of those users already had Google accounts. Facebook and the others started with nothing - so that evolution took longer.

    I really enjoy Google. I think the path they are on now, not just with G+, but all of their other entities is a force to be reckoned with. But, my problem with G+ is that all I read about is the benefit for the brand. How brands must be on it. Why? not because of the platform itself, but because of search. That to me is not a holistic approach. I don't see the benefits being communicated enough to the average user. The average user doesn't care one bit about search. Also, what does G+ offer that Facebook doesn't already. There may be differences in logistics/functionality, but the concepts for the most part are the same to the average user. To us geeks, we may see it. I don't see people splitting time on both platforms - they're just going to connect with the same people anyways - so what's the unique value that G+ offers? That data above says a lot. It's going to take a lot for G+ to pull people from Facebook.

    But, as always, I am interested to see this evolution form and how it reaches the masses.

    Thanks for posting.

    @EricUngs:twitter

  • http://ericungs.com EricUngs

    Excellent.

    This is the data that people need to be paying attention to - not the number of "users". The user data doesn't tell any kind of story for a Google platform. Plus, we should expect those high levels of user signup simply because the Google ecosystem has been around for sometime. Majority of those users already had Google accounts. Facebook and the others started with nothing - so that evolution took longer.

    I really enjoy Google. I think the path they are on now, not just with G+, but all of their other entities is a force to be reckoned with. But, my problem with G+ is that all I read about is the benefit for the brand. How brands must be on it. Why? not because of the platform itself, but because of search. That to me is not a holistic approach. I don't see the benefits being communicated enough to the average user. The average user doesn't care one bit about search. Also, what does G+ offer that Facebook doesn't already. There may be differences in logistics/functionality, but the concepts for the most part are the same to the average user. To us geeks, we may see it. I don't see people splitting time on both platforms - they're just going to connect with the same people anyways - so what's the unique value that G+ offers? That data above says a lot. It's going to take a lot for G+ to pull people from Facebook.

    But, as always, I am interested to see this evolution form and how it reaches the masses.

    Thanks for posting.

    @EricUngs:twitter