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There’s been a lot of debate lately over whether or not Google+ is actually doing anything for the search giant. Google was quick to point out during I/O that the social network now has over 250 million users with 70 million daily active users. A report from early August suggested that Google was slowing acquisitions and funding for Google+ because it wasn’t performing to their expectations. A recent study seems to confirm that report.
UK-based social media firm Umpf recently looked at Google+ engagement and found some surprising statistics. Let’s start with the good news first. Google+ really is in second place in terms of members, but not by much. Umpf says that Google+ only has 170 million users while LinkedIn has 161 million. Facebook is still the king with 955 million users.
The good news ends there. Umpf looked at the actual engagement on these social networks and Google+ does not look good. The study found that for every 100 million users, only 6 million Google+ users were likely to share a story. Compare that to the 197 million people like to share a story on Twitter and the 41 million likely to share on Facebook.
As for activity, folks on Twitter are 33 times more active than their Google+ counterparts. Facebook users are seven times more active and LinkedIn members are 2.5 times more active.
Umpf finally broke down the shares percentage that each social network enjoys for a variety of stories. Google+ performs well in business, but that’s still only 2.6 percent. Facebook and Twitter are much higher sharing 45.7 and 32.1 percent respectively. It doesn’t ge any better from there with health stories being shared by only a paltry 0.4 percent of Google+ users compared to 62.7 percent of Facebook users.
What does all of this prove? Google has a massive social network, but nobody is using it. Sure, you may use it, but the majority of the world doesn’t. We all got a Google+ account because we have a Gmail account or some other Google product. The only reason Google+ accounts are growing is because Google is integrating into their products. It’s great for numbers, but it does nothing for engagement.
That being said, Google+ is a fantastic product and it deservers better. I’m not sure what Google can do to increase engagement on the network. They might need to perform a massive overhaul that scraps everything and start over. They could also focus more on Hangouts, arguably the most popular component in Google+.
Facebook and Twitter are dominating everything. Google has stated that it’s not their intention to compete, but they’re going to be compared to the others regardless of their stance. When numbers like these comes out, it doesn’t look good for them. Here’s hoping they can turn Google+ around before it ends up like Wave, a great idea killed early by limited engagement.
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Co–editors: Larry B; Eric G; Vince Guarisco