Businesses Give Google+ The Cold Shoulder
May 13, 2013

Businesses Give Google+ The Cold Shoulder

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Roughly two years after the launch of Google+, the Mountain View, California-based company´s most recent foray into the social media world is reportedly struggling to gain acceptance among key business brands in the US.

Since first going live in June 2011, approximately 500 million users have set up Google+ accounts and about 135 million actively use the social network, according to Reuters reporter Alexei Oreskovic. The average user spent slightly under seven minutes on the website in March, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In comparison, Oreskovic said that Facebook currently boasts more than one billion users who use the website´s features at least once per month, and Twitter has 200 million. In addition, individuals visiting reportedly spent more than six hours taking advantage of its various features, Nielsen said.

Perhaps even more than individuals, businesses seem to be giving Google´s social network the cold shoulder. According to Reuters, on Cinco de Mayo, Domino´s Pizza made several posts to their Facebook page — including one of a Mexican-themed pizza that was “liked” by over 2,000 people. In comparison, the company´s Google+ page had not been updated since October 2012.

“Technical shortcomings of Google+ have put off some companies accustomed to the flexibility of Facebook, marketing and corporate executives say,” Oreskovic explained. “Many businesses do build outposts on Google+, eager to benefit from its integration with Google's popular Internet search service. Some corporations have even used its online video feature for splashy product launches.”

“But the flurry of commercial activity common on other social networks — from restaurant promotions to movie trailers — is harder to spot on Google+, raising questions about its ability to rival Facebook or Twitter as a thriving online community,” the Reuters reporter added.

Seventy-two of the 100 most valuable global brands had a Google+ presence (compared to 87 for Facebook), but approximately 40 percent have either never posted either content on the website or had only done so infrequently, he said. McDonald´s was among those who had never posted on Google´s social network, and 17 brands, including Pepsi and Nike, had gone more than a week without adding content to their Google+ accounts.

“Some also complain that Google+ is too restrictive a canvas,” Oreskovic said. “Its profile pages are more limited than on Facebook or Twitter because they don't support iFrame, a Web standard that allows multiple Web pages to be embedded within a main page“¦ Over the past year, it has rolled out a tool that allows software developers to connect with a brand's page, though that has so far been offered only to a limited group of partners.”

The news hasn´t been all bad for Google+, however. At the end of 2012, it had overtaken Twitter as the second-largest social network, trailing only Facebook, according to British research firm Trendstream and their Global Web Index. Global Web Index statistics for the final quarter of last year estimated that Facebook had 693 million active users, while Google+ had approximately 343 million active users and Twitter had just 288 million active users.