Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Google+ Is A Ghost Town

Google Circles graphic from Music 3.0 blog
If you read this blog a lot you know that I've posted quite a lot on Google+. That's because it seems to be the first serious challenger to Facebook, and of course, it's backed by one of the 800 gorillas of the tech world in Google.

And as I've been reporting, Google+ now has more than 90 million users, which is an astounding number considering that the network only started about 6 months ago.

But the real measure of a site isn't how many users it has, but how engaged those users are, and this is where G+ seems to be very, very lacking. In fact, Web research firm ComScore has recently ascertained that G+ is a virtual ghost town compared to Facebook when it comes to user engagement.

ComScore's research shows that the average user spends only 3 minutes per month on G+, compared with 6 or 7 hours on Facebook, which is an quite a large difference. It seems that even though G+ has some unique features like Hangouts and Circles, they're not enough to get most users to switch from Facebook in a big way. As a result, users of both simply dabble in G+ to see what's there, but still spend most of their time where they're still comfortable, and where most of their friends are, and that's still Facebook.

Now it's hard to say if there will be a migration from Facebook to G+ when FB's new Timeline becomes mandatory, since it seems to be universally disliked at the moment. Let's check back in a couple of months to see.

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1 comment:

Léo Saramago said...

Here in Brazil, we've seen the demise of the Orkut social network happen after six years of major scale addiction. Many users still have their accounts active but seldom log in. Migration to FB was quite slow, mainly because people initially rejected its interface - it was just different from what was in their bloodstream... but there's this subtle social detail, apart from spam inside Orkut, that could explain why migration took place anyway: Facebook meant a fresh start in people's Web lives. Social networks also have hazzardous implications, specially in personal relationships. Many people won't accept the same old Orkut friends in their FB network. They treat FB with much more care as they have learnt from their own previous Orkut habits-mistakes and experience. The FB's Timeline hated feature is a great opportunity for Google+ to take over indeed... let's see how long people will put up with it... maybe, they will embrace it.


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