Google+ Lags Far Behind Facebook, Twitter and MySpace in Latest Study (Updated)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:50am EST

Google+ became the fastest growing social network within months of its debut last June, but a recent study casts doubt on whether most of its users are spending much time on the site.

According to ComScore, users spent an average of just 3.3 minutes on Google+ in the month of January, a decline from its recent figures and a tiny sliver of Facebook’s total.

On average, users spent 5.1 minutes on Google+ in November and 4.8 minutes in December while Facebook’s passionate audience logged between six and seven hours each of the past few months.

Most of the prominent social media companies site fall well short of Facebook by this measurement, but still lure their users for far longer than Google+. That even includes MySpace, which has an audience that is 27 million visitors smaller than Google+’s, but one that spend almost three times as much time on it.

This study only accounts for visitors using personal computers, so mobile is usage is not considered. But Facebook also has a large and active audience on the mobile platform – albeit one it needs to better monetize.

A Google spokeswoman gave this statement on the report: "The reality that Google+ is much more than a destination site makes it exceedingly hard for any third-party research firm to monitor or measure its performance. Google thinks about the service not as a site but as a deepening of its relationship to billions of existing users who are already committed to Google's services like Search, YouTube, Android, etc. By this measure, engagement is already enormous."

Google CEO Larry Page has struck an optimistic tone ever since the Mountain View, Calif.-based company debuted its social networking platform. In its most recent earnings call, he boasted of its 90 million users.

Also Read: Google 4Q Earnings Miss the Mark, Google Plus Hits 90M Subs

"I'm super excited about the growth of Android, Gmail and Google+, which now has 90 million users globally -- well over double what I announced just three months ago," Page told analysts.

Early ComScore studies lent support to Page’s confidence by demonstrating its expanding user base.

This latest report would seem to take a lot of air out of the balloon, but Google’s vice president of product management, Bradley Horowitz, downplayed the report to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal also quoted many of Google’s partners expressing concern about the growth the service, such as social gaming company Zynga and chipmaker Intel.

Zynga’s COO told the Journal that Google+ has been “slow on the uptick with users,” suggesting that in those three minutes on Google+, people are not playing much “Cityville.”

Despite the report, Google’s share price is up almost 1.5 percent on the day.

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Comments (9)
skibum wrote:
I use Google Plus to store my pictures on the cloud. I use Facebook to interact with people. I have yet to find any reason to use my google plus account for any social function. The user base is much larger and more social on Facebook. Everyone has an account set up and the fact that I can use Spotify through it is fantasic. I really have been enjoying Facebook since I created an account two years ago. But I appreciate Google keeping my pictures safe. Thanks Google!

Feb 28, 2012 12:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BoastingBiZZ wrote:
The fact that Google+ Lags Far Behind Facebook, Twitter and MySpace in Latest Study makes perfect sense. Facebook, Twitter, and Mayspace has been around several years before Google+. Will Google+ ever surpass the Big 3 social sites? In my professional SEO Services (Internet Marketing) opinion, I don’t think so. Many of our clients asks us to utilize Google+ on their website and the tool seems to be picking up some steam.

Feb 28, 2012 12:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rajiv85 wrote:
Hopefully those people who work at google read opinions of people from time to time: Google plus is a massive deception. I was the most energetic person to leave FB and encourage everyone I know to move to G plus. But after I finally joined it.. I returned to use FB. G plus was actually way off worst!!!! I dont know who they hired to design it.. but it is awefully designed. I am fed up sending feedbacks to them which am sure they never read.

Feb 28, 2012 2:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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