A report out last week by Global Web Index shows that Google+ is now the second most active social media platform second only to Facebook and outpacing Twitter in number of active users. According to the report, although there are more users on Google+, Twitter saw the biggest jump in “active usage” during the month of December. Global Web Index defines “active usage” as “used or contributed to in the past month”.
Many have questioned the validity of the results as Google now automatically creates a Google+account for anyone using any of the Google services (or at least hounds you until you create one yourself). As you can see in the chart above another Google product, YouTube, came in third with Twitter ranking as the fourth most popular social media network.
While the bickering over who is the biggest may be interesting, it is safe to say that Google+ is a formidable social media network. Yet even as these results were being announced Mylife, which provides a platform for managing social media profiles, released the infographic below which shows Google+ as No. 2 on their top ten list of failed social media networks. Although the data may not agree, Mylife ranked Google+ with networks such as iTunes ‘Ping,” Eons, Orkut and others.
Here are three things wrong with Mylife’s claim that Google+ is a “failed” social media network:
“Social is people and people are on Facebook”
Yeah. There are people on Facebook but according to the Global Web Index report, people are also on Google+. More importantly though, which people are on Google+. The key to any social media campaign is to find your target audience and engage them. At this point, Google+ seems to bring in more of a social media savvy audience while Facebook cuts across all users. I find conversations on Google+ to be a bit more engaging and geared around professional topics of which I am interested although that may be more due to the circles I’ve created and the people I follow. For me at least, Facebook is more geared toward my personal life. It is where I talk to friends, share photos with family and catch up with those I can’t see every day in person.
From a marketing perspective, Google+ doesn’t appear to be limiting the content I see near as much as Facebook does. For those without highly active Facebook pages, it might be easier to break into the Google+ feed.
“Google+ doesn’t dramatically improve the online social experience”
One word: Hangout.
Apparently Mylife hasn’t seen the popularity and creative uses of Google+’s Hangouts. If there is one thing about Google+ that changes the online social experience it is the ability to chat face to face in real time. Hangouts can be public or private, can include a number of users and can even be extended in a broadcast format complete with moderated discussion from those viewing the Hangout.
Google+ Impact on Search Results
Regardless of how you feel about Google+, the impact of a +1 on the Google search engine results should be enough to convince you that this is an important social media network. Along with directly incorporating Google+ sharing into it’s algorithms in a way that Google cannot with Twitter or Facebook (due to access), Google “Search, plus your World” will show active in your Google+ network directly in your Google search returns.
This reason along is enough to make anyone interested in moving up the search engine rankings give Google+ a good look.
You can see the rest of the “Failed” social media networks in the infographic below.
What do you think? Is Google+ a failed network? Are you using Google+ and if so, what do you like or dislike about the network? Share your thoughts in the comments below (and don’t be afraid to hit that +1 button).
From a content marketing perspective, you have to give Mylife credit. Without the inclusion of Google+, I probably wouldn’t have noticed this infographic nor would I have reposted it.