So Apparently Google+ Isn’t Dead

By  |  Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Apparently nobody really knows whether Google+ is dead or not. One day, we’re told its a “ghost town,” the next day somebody claims Google+ is here to stay. And back and forth and back and forth it goes…

Enter the latest installment in this argument: Google+ will surpass 400 million users by 2012. This comes from an independent analysis by Paul Allen, founder of and the self-appointed “unofficial statistician” of the service. He says that growth of the service has really accelerated in recent weeks. This growth rate would put it not far behind Facebook in second place, with about half the users of its bigger competitor.

Mind you its taken Facebook seven years to get to that number. Google+ will get to about half that in just 18 months. That’s some growth! What’s driving this? It could be the popularity of Android. It’s easy to register for Google+ from Android devices, and cool features like automatic syncing of pictures with the service may be a draw.

“It may be the holidays, the TV commercials, the Android 4 signups, celebrity and brand appeal, or positive word of mouth, or a combination of all these factors, but there is no question that the number of new users signing up for Google+ each day has accelerated markedly in the past several weeks,” Allen writes in a Google+ post. “What is really remarkable is that nearly 1/4th of all Google+ users (24.01% to be precise) will have joined in December alone.”

I have found Google+ to still be somewhat barren when it comes to content, especially from the less technical. I know of several friends who have signed up for the service and all but have stopped posting regularly in just a few short weeks. I’m wondering if this rush of new users may follow a similar trend.

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11 Comments For This Post

  1. Collins Says:

    Half of 800 million is 400 million. That’s a significant margin in terms of ‘head count’. Plus, the statistics above compare Google+’s number of users with Facebook’s number of _active_ users — Facebook advertises that 800+ million head count as number of active users. We can call this faulty comparison.

    I have a Google+ account that’s hardly active simply because practically no one in my ‘circle’ is actively using his/her Google+ for anything. Thus, I’m one of those folks who see Google+ as a Ghost Network(TM).

  2. TheGraphicMac Says:

    The only people who actively use Google+ are people who write about Google+ or want to talk about Google+

  3. Jack Says:

    The only people who actively use Google+ are people who know how to use Google+ and circle those who actually post actively (and not just about google+, but about news, politics, finance, photography, tech, science, entertainment news, brands…….) ; If I open a Twitter account and don't follow anyone who's actually active, I could just as easily say "WOW THIS MUST BE A COMPLETELY UNUSED SOCIAL NETWORK". Of course, that would be stupid of me.

  4. The_Heraclitus Says:

    Much like Twitter. Many signed up, a fraction of those use the "service".

  5. Matt Says:

    How many of these 400 million are active users? Are these conscious sign-ups or is it something akin to Apple bragging about how many people have signed up for Ping (anyone running iTunes)? If you want to get technical, yes I have a Google+ account, but you can also say I have one on MySpace, though its been sitting dormant for an age.

  6. Paul Says:

    When has Apple ever talked about Ping subscribers? The closest they talk about is subscriptions to iTunes. They may have talked about potential very early on – but Apple has never talked about Ping since they announced it outside of mentioning it in support articles when they update iTunes.

  7. Matt Says:

    It was a hypothetical proposal.

  8. Jack Says:

    The reason you're confused about Google+ predictions is that the tech press cares more about pageviews than actual content that makes sense. The reality is that Google+ is doing moderately well; not great, and not poorly, but "Google+ does moderately well" isn't as catchy a headline as "Google+ will inevitably take over" or "Google+ is completely dead", so blogs and tech news sites latch onto solitary data points and extrapolate ridiculous things from them.

  9. citrusrain Says:

    I can see both ends of the spectrum.

    I have a few seperate Google+ accounts due to my public posts getting a bit spammy to people I actually knew, while being not at all spammy compared to a stream that basically updates every 15-60 seconds.

    The account I made to get my real friends to not have me blocked moves quite slowly, a few updates a day. (I think less than 50 people in my circles)

    My secondary account (which I can't call Citrus Rain like I want because of that name being flagged as not real during the nymwars) is the most active and spammy. Compare it to a big party that always has someone commenting on something. It never slows down because of assorted timezones, as well as nocturnal users and insomniacs. (Over 1200 circled – not all active)

    My main account just barely moves as fast as my facebook did (before deleting it) but could potentially move faster if my friends unblocked me for the spam that I put a stop to in October. (just over 100 circled)

  10. Andy Natural Search Says:

    Google have been exceptionally clever with thier positioning of Google+. With them opening the floodgates to business pages and annoucing thier use of G+ signals in their search engines, the social netowrk is here to stay.

    It'll be interesting to see if it takes off with personal accounts or whether it remains a business zone.

  11. hijackthemic Says:

    "Apparently nobody really knows whether Google+ is dead or not."

    I do, it's dead.