When Google+ was first launched, many questioned Google’s ability to create a social network that could find a home among powerhouses like Facebook and Twitter. These questions were highly warranted, of course, considering the company’s shaky track record after the failed experiments of Google Buzz and Orkut (though the latter isn’t really considered to be in that same category of “failure” as it’s still a popular social network in countries like Brazil and India).
Welp, here we are — a whole 19 months later — and it’s being reported that Google+ has climbed all the way from the depths of social networking nothingness to become the second most active social network in the past month. The service passed up YouTube, Twitter MySpace and LinkedIn quite handily, according to a report by UK research firm Trendstream.
If accurate, it’s not hard to explain how or why Google+ has gotten so big. For starters, Android and the Google Play Store deserves a big honorable mention. Google changed the Google Play Store in recent months to require people to use their Google+ profiles (which almost everyone with a Google account has) in order to leave user reviews. Google’s efforts to implement Google+ functionality in other services such as YouTube and Gmail don’t hurt, either. It might be cheating just a tad, but it’s still impressive.
Still, if you’re not winning you’re losing, so the fact that Facebook still commands an insurmountable lead will overshadow this news. The social network, which the movie “The Social Network” was shamelessly based on, reportedly had 693 million active users in this period compared to 343 million for Google+. Literally everyone might not have a Facebook account, but you would be hard-pressed to find a room full of people without one in this day and age (unless you’re doing stand-up at the old folks’ home, of course).
Google’s strategy is working to some degree, but the company still has some work to do to make these numbers less artificial. A ton of people do use Google+ out of sheer fun and interest, but we imagine that a rather large percentage of its growth has a lot more to do with Google’s wizardry and leveraging skills than anything else.
Never used Google+
stuck with blogger? Poor kid.
Google must’ve done some hiring.
hired thousands of people to create accounts and interact with others? Really, Danni? Really?
Nah I’m just effing around. I prefer Google+ to FB and Twitter and I spend quite a bit of time on those. It just sucks that most of my friends aren’t on Google+ or they don’t check it at all.
I really enjoy Google+ much more than Facebook, but only a handful of my friends have one, and NONE of them use it. =/
My girlfriend, my mother, my sister and her two kids have bought an Android device on my advice, and like me they all actively use Google+ and Chat+.
You lucky monkey. I’ve been trying my hardest to convert to Android. So far I’ve gotten about 2 or 3 people to get an Android (even switched one over from an iPhone ;D)
Its only been 18 months. Facebook took 4 years to even catch MySpace and I can almost guarantee no one here even heard of Facebook in its first 18 months, much less had an account. Have patience,
Its happening little by little. The media has just been hell bent on comparing G+ to Facebook from the moment it opened its doors and then spent considerable time ridiculing it for not catching it overnight…as though any reasonable person would have expected it to happen that quick.
Yeah it would be neat if Google+ takes over Facebook haha. We’ll see. I hope it does!
Yea most ppl didnt hear about Facebook until they opened their doors a lil more. It was restricted to certain folks in the beginning..
Same here… most of my friends don’t have G+ accounts, and those who have don’t use them… That’s very sad, since I really like G+’s interface — at least.
I don’t believe this… I love google+ but the few people I know that have it also haven’t been on since the day they made it.
Yup. I mean, I click the red number now and then to check if its something else then new uploaded photos from my phone, but no. The way they measure this if way off, thats for sure.
I highly doubt that there are more Google Employees than Spambots. There’s no way that there’s more traffic to plus.google.com than to twitter.com.
infinitely more spam on twitter. Fact.
Maybe you should try just typing a single topic into the G+ search bar and then decide. There are millions of posts on just about any topic in there, and that’s just what people post publicly. Then you need to consider all the stuff people share privately that you never even see.
google+ is bigger than what you think. It’s not like facebook that you have to have your friends to fully use it. It’s more like twitter or tumblr where you follow who you want to follow. I use it more now than facebook. and like tumblr, if you’re not seeing pr0n in your home dashboard, you’re probably doing it wrong. lol
Succinctly put. It took me ages to realise what G+ was useful for (for me), but then again it took a similar amount of time to see purpose for twitter. Facebook, as far as I can see, has no purpose to me.
This is great news. The mobile app for G+ is fantastic and the privacy settings are easy to use. Maybe this will convince more people and businesses to join, now that G+ has some momentum.
I use Google Plus, but rarely. I don’t even have a Facebook or Twitter account, and never will. Email is and always will be a better choice, if for no other reason than users have countless choices fit an email service, yet we can still all talk to each other – no special accounts or privacy-invading features to worry about.
I get that you have no need for Social websites but you can not compare email to social, they are for different things.
Yeah, the whole thing about being required to have a Google + account to do things like rate stuff in the Play Store sucks. Doesn’t matter that I can “just sign up for an account and not use it if I don’t want to.” I shouldn’t have to do something I don’t want to do in order to do something else. Sorry, but that sounds Apple-esque.
It’s the same as the requirement to have a Gmail account before you can use the Play store or before you can use Google music. It’s really not that big a deal
To you, maybe. To me, it is a big deal.
Then you may want to reevaluate what’s important in life.
Seriously? You know so much about me that you think that my voicing my opinion on this topic indicates that it is of high priority in my life? Cmon, man, it’s just a discussion.
First, they are all free services. Some of them must require information about you, according to several countries Law. Its common sense to use the same account to not repeat the same info every time. You can signup gmail and g+ just for playstore and google music login and setup both accounts properties to not be visible to anyone except you.
Exactly. You make a good point.
Yeah, but how many articles have I had to sign up with a Facebook account I have no interest in just to leave a comment.
And really,complaining that signing up for Google services forces you to sign up for G+ is like complaining that buying a smart phone forces you to own a camera.
I hear you… But I don’t comment on stuff that requires fb, either. As for the camera analogy, yes, but in my eyes the camera is an actual camera welded to the smartphone. (make sense?)
I know it’s not a huge deal, but the fact that it is FORCED on me in order to comment or rate in the Play Store just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
You need to think of it as Google usage. G+ is just central identity for all the Google products. You’re not forced to use Google, you are choosing to use the Play store and that is how Google signs in you in. You have other options.
And I believe the smartphone/camera metaphor is very applicable because the camera is essentially a feature of the phone whereas the social aspects of G+ are simply a feature of the Google Eco system. You can be part of the ecosystem without being social just like you can own a smart phone without using the camera. Its no different than if I used FB only for the games.
Or like Yahoo…. You need some type of account to comment. Or damn near any comment section…you have to sign up to leave a comment.
Like here….didnt we all have to sign up for something just to leave comments?
must be rigged.. I don’t see instajunk on there. Chris would not approve of this chart.
Absolute Tosh, i can count the number of true google+ users on one hand. Reality is google are forcing people to signup for g+ to use their products, not because the social network is actually being used.
Your mutant hand most have a LOT of fingers – this website lists a couple hundred true G+ users and contributors, and these are only some of the most popular ones: http://www.recommendedusers.com/
The missing majority is obviously the general public which people would never see if they don’t know anything about G+.
Your research is very sad, coming from a “news” site.
Total Denial. These same ridiculous things were said as recently as 2010 about Android in comparison to Iphone. Just because YOU’RE not aware of how much G+ has grown doesn’t make it so.
I advise you to login in to it…and browse around…its not that hard. I also said thats why Google did that with the Play Store…to help Google + grow. At the same time….this article is about active users…..not just ppl signed up.
Woooooo, they added a hundred million YouTube comments. Weighted value: negative.
Oh, and a couple million ‘This app does not work on my LG!’ comments.
YouTube is in the list too, so it’s not counted as part of Google+ here.
And only new comments in the Play Store are made using Google+ accounts, it’s not retroactive.
People are more social on YouTube than Twitter?
yes, because being social implies two way communication. there are hundred page long comment conversation threads on YouTube… retweets don’t count.
I love Google plus interface
wow really? i mean i LOVE G+ but it seems that noone i know uses it so it’s kinda pointless for me
This reminds me of a saying that goes something like “if all your friends decided to jump off a bridge…”
I really don’t believe this, it probably has more to do with the fact that you almost can’t do anything with Google now without going through Google plus, creating artificial visits
yeah, and having to log in to Facebook to comment on an article that has nothing to do with Facebook isn’t “artificial”…or all the gamers on Facebook who have never posted a single thing yet have multiple Facebook accounts aren’t “artificial”.
love Google plus
LOL. Subtract orphaned/abandoned accounts and there are maybe a hundred active g+ users world wide. I wouldn’t be shocked if google autoposted a bunch of stuff to my g+ account through some of their other services in a feeble attempt to make it relevant (play, youtube, etc). But do I actively pay any attention to it whatsoever in spite of having an account? No.
Oh that’s ripe. How about subtracting all the multiple accounts that individual users create to play games on FB. How about subtracting all the usage stats that FB collected just for people “liking” something. How about all subtracting all the time people have spent watching a YouTube video while logged into FB that counts toward FB usage. How about subtracting all the abandoned FB accounts that still exist because FB makes it nearly impossible to delete a profile.
Wow. Someone’s feeling so very serious about g+. :) LOL.
Sorry if you are offended, but IMHO, anyone who thinks counting virtually all youtube comments as G+ activity and then declaring G+ the second most used network isn’t just a tad disingenuous, regardless of what the competition is doing, must have some kind of axe to grind.
You actually think more people use G+ actively/consciously than Twitter? Even the article cited points out that the numbers seem artificial.
Did you even read the article? Youtube activity is separate from G+ activity. Youtube is even listed on the chart as 3rd. Your comment is a total double standard. Just because you “feel” it doesn’t make it so.
Of course not, I’m just killing time between compiles and having some laughs. But apparently you’re some kind of internet freedom fighter or something. Good thing someone is keeping the blog comments of the world accurate! You go girl!
Anyway, regardless of how YT v G+ activity is computed, I still question the claim that G+ is the second most actively used SN at this point int time, since no one gives a sh*t about it. LOL.
No one gives a sh*t about it…..I guess the different posts I see on there when I login ….dont give a ….
There are posts from minutes, days ago…not just when it first launched.
Lol it’s funny how people try to play it off as joking, trolling or in your case “having some laughs” whenever their silly posts get outed.
google+ is way better than facebook imo. I only use facebook for single sign on apps/websites.
Call me a Wizard but am I the only one that managed to get all my friends to switch from Facebook to Google+ and actually use it more?
Just how did you do that? :)
Why people keep saying, ‘oh no one is using Google+”?
I don’t like g+ they(Google)sure push it a lot!
I freeze it with titanium. Made the account just for play store reviews
Didn’t like that either. I think its very possible they faked this report as well. They will do anything to promote g+ its one of the things that made me realize I need to watch Google just like microshaft
If you remove all the catfishers from facebook…I’d say it’s about even.
Fair enough! I love Facebook, G+ and YouTube, and I rarely use Twitter — only when I have to…
i have a google+ account that i used to use regularly but i just couldn’t get into it….and now that almost all of my accounts have been transferred to outlook.com, i really on use google+ if i just happen to log into that specific gmail account.