Several apparently conflicting reports detailing Google+’s progress have recently been released, and speculation about the data has the online marketing industry buzzing. One report indicates Google+’s rise has been monumental and unprecedented in the world of social networking, even among sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. However, despite these great gains, some reports also denote the popularity of Google+ has been waning. What is the true story here?
The truth of the matter is Google+’s popularity does appear to have hit a plateau in the U.S. market after it hit its peak around July 20th. However, Google+ is still climbing dramatically worldwide, especially in India, Canada, the U.K., and Germany. This rise accounts for the unprecedented 25 million visitors to Google+ during the first month following its launch; Facebook, by comparison, took 3 years to accumulate that number of users. To bring us back down to earth, however, those “visitors” are not necessarily “users”; on the other hand, one should keep in mind Google+ is still in Beta, and still by invitation only. Furthermore, the data regarding the number of visitors does not take into account mobile users and those using the Google+ engagement bar (the new black navigation bar).
Regardless of the number of Google+ users in the U.S., it is still too early to determine how Google+ will progress as a major social network. What is interesting to note is Google+ users are predominantly male (about 71%), in the 25-34 age group, and typically considered tech-savvy, based on their age and gender and the fact most are using Google Chrome as their browser. These demographics are consistent with internet industry leaders, and those who are up-and-coming in the tech world.
Although Google+ is less than two months old, Google is already integrating some of the “public” posts into search results, as long as the searcher is logged into their Google account. This integration demonstrates a measure of Google’s confidence in their new social network.
It will still be a while before we find out whether or not Google+ has what it takes to draw users from the ranks of social networking giants such as Facebook. Until then, we’ll be watching what new advances will continue to emerge from these fierce competitors as they battle for more social networking turf.