Google+: Huge Success or Massive Failure?

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”.

Google+ Twitter

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).

Google+  Twitter Failed

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.

Comments

  1. says

    google + may be the “second most active social platform” but that’s only because YOUTUBE is now a subset of google+ users
    in fact, the ACTUAL active google+ userbase should probably be closer the google+ userbase MINUS the youtube userbase, which puts google+ just ahead of myspace, if even that, the reason this is my opinion is that MOST youtube users may not even realize they HAVE a google+ account, because google has MADE IT FOR YOU
    i was never asked to join google+
    i was never asked to connect google + to my facebook
    i am unable to delete my google+ account without SEVERELY handicapping my youtube account at best
    youtube is going to go down the drain because users can post infinite-length posts THAT MAY CONTAIN UNFILTERED LINKS because it uses google+’s posting rules

    not only is google + a crappy facebook clone that was uncalled for, unwanted, and forced upon it’s not-even-users, it’s dragging one of THE MOST succesful and popular websites from the past decade -youtube- down with it.

  2. says

    Google+ has so called “active users” due to Google+ being intergrated with Youtube and those “active users” hate Google+. Even if Google+ did have the most active users in total everyone still knows that Facebook is much better and that Google is just doing it for the money.

    Google just cannot admit one of their websites has failed.

  3. says

    I do not know a single person who actually uses Google+ regardless of how they ended up with an account. It’s sad, just give up on it Google. Maybe even buy a big stake in Facebook if you can’t stand watching it be successful..

  4. says

    As others have said, the high number of active users comes from Google making profiles for Youtube users (and hounding anybody who uses any of their products). Another fact that has been overlooked is that many people have ended up with multiple G+ accounts due to G+ accounts being made automatically for them. A few months ago I realized I had four G+ accounts. Yeah, FOUR. How I ended up with 4 “active” accounts is beyond me, as I only agreed to one G+ account so I could favorite music on Youtube. I’ve since managed to consolidate them into 2 G+ accounts, which is still one too many. I also lost my 4 year old Youtube channel in the process, which I didn’t appreciate.

    Does G+ have it’s perks? Sure it does. Google Drive has been a life saver. Hangout has some cool stuff (when it worked). I tried G+ out and gave it a chance. But the vast majority log into G+, use the perks, then leave. I don’t know a single person who seriously uses G+ as a Facebook replacement. I’m sure they’re out there, but I haven’t met them.

    You can argue that G+ in itself isn’t a failure. You could argue that the concept isn’t a failure- heck you could even try to argue that Google’s methods of drawing people in isn’t a failure. But you can’t argue that it succeeded as a social networking site. It just didn’t.

  5. says

    I wouldn’t look at Google+ as a replacement for Facebook Kliz. I find myself using Facebook and Google+ for different activities. I tend to use Facebook for sharing photos, talking with friends/family and other sharing of that sort.

    I tend to find a much more in-depth conversation on G+ and often a much more professional conversation. Unlike Facebook where chances are I know the people in my stream, my connections on G+ are online connections and rarely do I know the people I connect with on G+ online.

    I have found it much easier to find people of similar interest and often in-depth resources on G+ when compared with Facebook. Yes, Google’s integration across all it’s products may have inflated it’s numbers, at least in my stream it is anything but a failing network. When I’m looking to connect with personal friends and family I go to Facebook. When I’m looking to network with others of similar professional interest I’m using G+. Yes, there is LinkedIn but I find that the conversation on G+ seems much more organized and there is much less blatant self promotion and noise on G+ than LinkedIn–at least for now.

  6. says

    This article could be summed up by the sentence ‘youtube comments are still popular’ I know many people have bought the whole ‘Google+ is Google’ bull, but ultimately when people say Google+ they mean the social network facebook type thing, not the re-branding of existing stuff. All of those supposed G+ figures are from youtube, gmail etc.

    I think Google need to be very careful here. They’re financially fine with G+ not working out however I have noticed youtube comments get worse and my google searches not finding as relevant material. (Sometimes i’ve even had to search google for ‘bing’ to get what i wanted….shock horror) Google don’t need a ‘social layer’ to succeed – but they’re risking breaking everything they have for the sake of trying.

  7. says

    I have refused to get a Google + account. I haven’t posted a comment on Youtube for weeks now, and I usually post at least once a day if not more. The other day, Youtube sent me a note telling me someone tried to hack into my account, and that I need to log in and change my password….really? I’m supposed to believe this? How desperate can Google for me to get an account? I already have a Gmail account, and a Youtube account. They’ve been trying to get me to change to my real name on my Youtube account for so long now, I have lost track. No, no thank you…what part of NO THANK YOU do they not understand. I’m so annoyed, I will continue to deny them just for the sake of denial. Access denied, sh*theads.

  8. says

    So it appears as though the Google “haters” are finding this blog post in force. This is probably due to the fact that it comes up No. 1 on Google for a number of related searches (even though the data is somewhat outdated.) This in and of itself may demonstrate some of the importance of Google+.

    Yes, Google is integrating all of it’s platforms across a wide variety of their online mediums. Yes, it may be inaccurate to count YouTube users in the same numbers as G+ users but this is where Google is going. If you use G+, you can quickly see the integration between YouTube and G+ in just the Hangout functionality alone.

    Remember, this is a marketing blog and my posts are geared to those interested in content, social media and online marketing. If you are a business that counts on being found online, like it or not you cannot ignore Google+. The very fact that I have an active G+ account and have linked my writings across the internet (using Google’s rel=author links) may in fact be one reason this post shows so high in the Google rankings. (see this post here for more information on Author Rank: http://jalcommunication.com/google-author-rank/).

    If you are a local business and want to be found in Google local searches, an active G+ page is now an important part of that search.

    Regardless of what you think about Google, ultimately their business is providing the answers their users seek when searching online. If they fail to provide those answers then the service fails and people will stop using them. With the Hummingbird algorithm changes which came this past fall, Google is using every bit of information at it disposal in the search results they provide.

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