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Google Plus Has a Problem

I like Google+. I think they’ve built a nice service, certainly eons ahead of Buzz. But Google+ has a problem. It’s called “173 > 3.” Not enough people are using it. I think competition is healthy (keep Facebook honest), so I sincerely hope G+ gains a stronger usership. Note that I did not say more “users,” which is a metric social platforms often cite. It is irrelevant how many people have signed up for the service. All of those people with Google+ accounts are currently over on Twitter and Facebook. Larry Page recently said Google+ has 90 million users. Have any of you asked the same question I have when using Google+: Where is everybody? (echo, echo…..)

Google Plus

I was talking with Jason Williams at lunch and told him my litmus test for Google+: I want to be able to say something meaningful on Google+ and get some kind of response within 5 minutes. Either a reply comment or a +1 would do. I can get that on Facebook. I can certainly get that on Twitter. I was getting that on Google+ when it debuted, because we were all on Google+ trying it out. Daily social media users are not sufficiently using Google+.

After completing my blog post, Marc Brooks brought this doozy to my attention (sorry, ignore the repeat of the image above):

Yes, as of his screen capture, 924,000 people had Facebook liked the VW Star Wars Super Bowl invite, and 794 had +1’ed it. That’s over 116,000% more Facebook likes than +1’s. Google Hangouts are quite amazing, integration of Google+ in search results is neat, but these numbers are surely causing consternation at Google.

This is bad:


  1. Great analysis, Chris. 

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. Google+ was cool when it first opened up but it’s become a ghost town for me too.

  3. very interesting!

  4. Where can I FB Like this?

  5. Alicia Marinache says:

    I think Google+ doesn’t know what they want yet, what kind of usership. On FB you either connect with friends or build a relationship with your customers; on twitter – you are somewhat more impersonal – short messages to (hopefully) a lot of followers… What does Google+ bring to the table?

  6. When you like a page on FB, it shows up in your feed. Your friends see it. When you +1 a page on G+, it gets added to your +1 links but someone has to manually visit your profile and view your +1 links. Google needs to adjust that.

  7. Just set up an account on Google Plus. Nobody I know is set up. I went through my whole contacts list. I can hear crickets chirping. I tried setting it up from my android tablet but the interface is completely broken. You must set it up from a desktop browser. There are more bugs than the Amazon (jungle, not store).

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