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…..)
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+.
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After completing my blog post, Marc Brooks brought this doozy to my attention (sorry, ignore the repeat of the image above):
— Marc Brooks (@IDisposable) January 19, 2012
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.
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This is bad:
Users spent an avg of 3 mins on Google+ in Jan. Compare that to 89 mins on tumblr and Pinterest, 405 on Facebook. on.wsj.com/xcBEQI
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 28, 2012