Happy Birthday Google+

Jul. 03, 2012 | by Gregory Lyons

Google+ has turned one!  So will the team behind the social network be celebrating the anniversary with champagne or drowning their sorrows?  Taking a quick look at the usage stats of the fledgling social network we can see that it hasn’t really grown significantly since its launch.  Aside from the odd spike in traffic around times when there was a big push, traffic to the site has remained reasonably flat since launch day.

(Please note: The graphs are looking at UK data only and it doesn’t look at people accessing Google+ via mobile, which accounts for over half of Google+ users according to Google.)

At first glance it would seem that Google+ hasn’t quite been the big hit Google would have liked it to be.  However the story isn’t quite as simple as that, as what Google have successfully managed to do is convince 250 million people to sign up to the service, even if they don’t come back too often.

Experian returning traffic

What this has given Google is access to invaluable user data as when people sign up they are required to submit demographic data such as sex and age and optionally submit data on interests and passions.  Additionally once people have created a Google+ login they are automatically kept signed in to all Google properties such as Google Search and Youtube allowing them to more accurately track behaviour at an individual level across these sites.  All this demographic and behavioural data will allow Google to better target and charge more for ads (as ultimately selling ads is how Google makes money).

Average visit time on Facebook and Google+

In February Google+ VP Bradley Horowitz told the Wall Street Journal that ”We’re growing by every metric we care about” suggesting that even though people were not interacting with and spending as much time on Google+, that it did not matter to him.

However the extra competition in this space has been good for end users as some of Facebook’s newer features may have taken some inspiration from Google+.  The popular ‘circles’ feature became ‘smart lists’ in FB and the new video calling feature being promoted on user’s Facebook profiles feels like it’s taken inspiration from Google+ hangouts.

So should Google be celebrating on its birthday?  Well if they are just looking to gather more user data allowing them to better target ads they’ve succeeded.  However if they were looking to create a social platform to rival the likes of Facebook, they’ve not.

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    Comment (1)

    • 456游戏

      顶你一下,好贴要顶!http://www.28s8.comJul 8, 2012 12:24 pm

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