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

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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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