Google+ – Mass by Stealth

People can be surprised by our G+ numbers. Take this post for example from Mike Eglan, where many of the comments are sceptical.

From our point of view, this was to be expected. In todays globalised and socially defaulted internet, the fact that an organisation with the reach and resources of Google can build the world’s quickest growing social platform is no shocking revelation.

To better understand Google+ growth, we must first stop thinking about it as a destination social site like Facebook.

Increasingly, Google+ is just Google.

This has impacted our research, as the distinction between a Google+ account and a Google account no longer exists. Now every single Google account provides access to Google+ and every new sign up is required to create a profile by default. This is why we record that Google+ has 672m accounts (most are likely to be Google accounts) and 336m active users across their social layer, which is just 21% of the global internet universe.

If we consider that Google has 1.3bn monthly visits, 900m YouTube visits and now, an incredible 422m Android users (an increase from 158m in Q2 2011), all of whom are now required to create a Google / Google+ account and now upload their photos as a default setting.

These numbers are not in any way a surprise.

And that’s why, from our point of view, most commentary on Google+ is misguided. Talk of it being a “wasteland” or “lacking in active community” misses the point completely. This is born from our numbers, as we track that 120m active users have shared photos through the service and 108m have hit a +1, which is right in line with Google’s own released “active” numbers, which underline’s why comparing it to Facebook is misguided.

Another other crucial fact is the rising growth in international markets, for example the US, with 14m active users, only make up 4% of their active user base.

In this global world, China, India, Brazil and Indonesia power Google’s growth, a shift that is only going to become more prevalent in the future.

Based on these facts, and the fact that Google is the gateway to the internet for the vast majority of internet users on the planet, it is vital that brands and businesses roll it into their social strategy now. It is irrelevant whether users interact with it in the same way as Facebook; it’s not the same product and never will be.

5 comments on this post

  1. Fons Tuinstra on

    I think you are mistaken on a few counts. First, my core competency is China, not the rest of the world and Google is losing there in a big way from local search engines. YouTube is blocked and only available for a small percentage of people who know how to use a VPN. Circlecount might be closer to the reality as they say 0.09% of the internet users in China use Google+
    I appreciate your key point that you see now all Google users as Google+ users, but in real life that does not work yet. A large number of my contacts, also in China, have signed up for Google+, might even look at it once a month, but I cannot use it to communicate with them. Give outrageously high numbers that a obvious not mirror of reality is not helping anybody.

  2. Fons Tuinstra on

    Just an afterthought: it looks like your sample of 2000 internet users is rather biased. Can you explain how you selected them from the 800 million internet users?

  3. Fons Tuinstra on

    Just had a short exchange with Circlecount and they are pretty amazed about the difference in figures. If it helps, I would like to talk to your partner in China. Otherwise, we are happy to clear up any differences in one of our upcoming China Weekly Hangouts.

  4. Pingback: O Google+ tem um excelente aplicativo para iPad - iPad Help

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