Google+ Users are Less Active than MySpace Users
Yes, I said "MySpace," not Twitter, not Facebook, or some other social networking website that's actually relevant in 2012. Things were looking up for Google+ in January when Larry Page (Google's CEO) said that over 90 million users were now registered on the search engine giant's social network.
While this indeed represents explosive growth, the figure is severely tainted by the fact that Google has been automatically signing up individuals for Google+ when they create a Gmail account or, for that matter, any service that utilizes a Google product or service.
Many SEO experts were skeptical of Google+'s growth claims given that Google was reluctant to release any data pertaining to how many registered users were actually active, and how much time those active users spent on the site. A new comScore report shows exactly why Google has been so stubborn about releasing this data.
3 Minutes of Google+ Time per Month for Average Users
The comScore data indicates that the average Google+ user is spending only three minutes on the site - not per day or even per week, but per month, making Google+ a place that the Wall Street Journal can only describe as a "virtual ghost town."
The comScore report also measured average monthly usage times on other social networking sites, and it certainly isn't looking pretty for Google:
- Google+: 3 minutes
- MySpace: 8 minutes
- LinkedIn: 17 minutes
- Twitter: 21 minutes
- Pinterest: 89 minutes
- Facebook: 405 minutes
Facebook, meanwhile, can obviously celebrate at the news that their average monthly usage figures tower above the competition - good news for a company currently trying to convince us of their $100 billion IPO valuation.
Only Desktop, not Mobile
The comScore report was based exclusively on data regarding users of desktop and laptop computers, and did not include time spent on social networking sites using mobile devices. As such, the actual monthly averages for sites like Facebook and Twitter are probably much higher, though it's too early to tell whether the same concept applies to Google+.
In response, a Google spokesperson said that their internal metrics indicate that average Google+ users spend far more than three minutes per month, though they still refused to release concrete data. The spokesperson also said that Google+ is growing satisfactorily in all of the areas the company measures.
If you're a site owner or blogger, you should take the data as an indication that your social media marketing efforts are best allocated to sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for now. At the same time, it would probably be unwise to ignore Google+ completely, at least in the future.