October 29, 2013
Google+ Making Slow And Steady Growth
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
While Facebook has more than one billion monthly active users, and Twitter has reached just over 230 million users, Google's progress for growing its social network Google+ has been quieter. The search giant talked about numbers this week, which show some noticeable increases in members and usage.
At an event this week in San Francisco, the search giant reported it has seen a 37 percent jump in users in recent months. USA Today reported Vic Gundotra, head of social at Google+, said there are now 300 million monthly active users on the Google social network, which is up from 190 million since May. Google+ users are indeed active, as a total of 540 million users of the social network have used Google's services in the past 30 days, up from 390 million. Google doesn't specify, however, how many of those interactions were adding or commenting on posts to Google+, or using other services that Google groups in with its social network.
Growth of the Google+ platform has been a slow and steady one, unlike other social networks that sprout up with record growth. Last year, a study released by Experian Hitwise stated Google+ grew 27 percent from February to March. While Google+ is seeing adoption, it is not getting attention from brands the way that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks are. A report released in May found while Google+ boasted 500 million users, businesses were not seeing it as a platform worth participating in.
One aspect Google+ has that differentiates it from other social networks is that it is integrated into a number of Google's products, such as YouTube, Drive, Gmail and Android. This can be a plus, in that it means more participation on Google+. When a user does something on another Google property, it creates an action on the user's Google+ profile. The feature can also be seen as a minus, in that users don't actively post or take part on Google+, and therefore might not be interacting with other users as they would on other social networks.
This aspect can be seen in how Google reports its Google+ numbers. Google said it is uploading 1.5 billion photos per week, and numbers are increasing at "an amazing rate," Gondrata was quoted saying in the USA Today article. Google did not clarify, however, how many of those photos are being shared on Google+. For example, if someone takes a picture on an Android device, by default the photo automatically gets uploaded to the user's Google+ profile to make it easier to share. That doesn't mean the user actually shares the photo.
Google's patience with Google+ growth is possible because it sits in the background of its other products. In many cases, Google+ is the link to other Google products.
"The goal of Google+ is to make all Google services better, including ads," vice president of product management at Google+ Bradley Horowitz was quoted saying to USA Today.
Google+ got a few new upgrades by way of other services from the search giant. Some of those new Google+ features are focused on sharing photos on the social network, as well as searching and enhancing photos.