“Ghost Town” Google+ Boasts 135 Million Active Users

    December 6, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Today Google launched Google+ Communities, which allows users of the social network to create and join large common interest groups complete with discussion, hangouts, and seamless sharing across the web. They also announced that former iPad app of the year Snapseed, which Google acquired back in September, is now available for Android.

But inside those announcements, Google Senior VP Vic Gundotra also dropped some new Google+ statistics. Mainly, the network (by itself) now has 135 million active users.

“Today Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever. More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google (+1’ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search…), and 135 million are active in just the stream,” says Gundotra.

So, Google+ has over 500 million users – but not really. When you look at Google account holders who actually access plus.google.com (or the mobile app), that figure is only about 27%.

Still, 135 monthly active users is hardly a “ghost town,” which is a two word phrase that we all expect Vic Gundotra and others around Google are probably sick and tired of hearing.

Back in September (when Gundotra announced the acquisition of Snapseed), Google claimed 400 million registered Google+ users and 100 million monthly active users. That means that Google+ has gained 35 million active users in about two and a half months. Extrapolated, Google+ is on a rough pace of 160 million new active users in a year.

I know we make the “Google+ is Google” argument all the time to explain that every Google product is connected, and to think of Google+ as a standalone social network (as opposed to the glue that holds many other services together) is an egregious error. But back in September, when Google announced 100 million MAUs, Gundotra said “while Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it’s also a destination.”

So make no mistake – Google is very happy to see 135 million MAUs for Google+.

  • http://ks2problema.wordpress.com KS2 Problema

    Well, I guess I’m an MAU.

    I went into G+ with great excitement, hoping that it would provide a rich enough social environment that it could gain critical momentum. (I’m a reluctant FB user. But it’s hard to ignore. That’s where your friends’ eyeballs are. When I go to my G+ account, I feel like I’m alone in a big empty place, occasionally seeing a post from a stranger as well as duplicate content from my one friend who is a huge FB hater and G+ promoter… but he posts most of his stuff on FB, anyhow, because… that’s where his associates are.

    Of course, there’s the momentum thing. I was really hoping that G+ would provide features that would draw people in. Instead, it was a confusing mess. Things that simply should have been there from the beginning, like secure, dedicated personal messaging were bizarrely missing. (And the workaround of creating a wall post limited to an audience of one is not just counter-intuitivie — it’s downright confusing as ‘private’ content intermingles with public with little immediate cue which is which.

    Google is very smart at some things. They understand search. But they simply don’t seem to understand how people work.

  • jas

    i use G+. i love it. i switched from FB because FB got incredibly annoying, and i couldn’t stand the FB games.

    considering i’m on an android phone, and all of my photos are backed up to the Google cloud, it’s a perfect place to share stuff. it integrates well with my Google Calendar.

    there are a few more features it needs, such as better integration with gmail, and more control over commenting. also, the fixed width is a problem if you’re using a large monitor. posting multiple links would be nice as well, and linking to gifs could be easier.

    a big bonus is the lack of exploitation from a small-business standpoint. if you’re a business, you can attract followers and communicate with those followers at $0. if you want to do the same in FB, it costs you big bucks. plus, post something ‘public’, and you get indexed by google. that helps your search results.

    but from an intuitive standpoint, i don’t think it is hard to use at all. i would say that almost all of my friends have an active G+ account at this point.

  • Joe Blow

    135 million is 10% of Facebook.

    Those numbers are also inflated because tons of G+ users are actually folks who were shoehorned into an account due to Google’s flogging of the service on anyone who uses any Google product.

    G+ is interesting, but as a product, it’s a flop. No one uses it, and those who do also use Facebook.

  • Laura

    Only reason why I have a google + is because they forced me into it with my YouTube and gmail accounts…..

  • Cow007

    I think it’s important to understand it as a feature of Google’s product offering. I think that it is something up and coming and often new things don’t necessarily make it in the first implementation for various reasons. I think it will do well reliability wise Facebook’s fate worse than death a la SQL has been troubling and the site has acted pretty janky at times for quite a few people I talk to. It’s definitely going to take off in the long run in my opinion. I don’t think however that Google does a better job in the phone/ tablet arena I am an Apple ideologue. Windows 8 seems kind of neat however. The chrome book looks worthwhile however but I have not played with it. I am talking perceptions and people’s expectations are one of the biggest factors around the success or failure of new things This is something however that through use proper marketing can sometimes be directed. It fascinates me that with apple and it’s technologies it was long in coming and that is something people don’t talk about. It’s not like Steve jobs joined back up with the company and boom. He worked his whole career at Apple and not to make Apple what it is today. The implementation we see of G+ is like many things not inseparably linked to it’s implementation. It applies- things that end up being really successful don’t always just end up that way right away!

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  • http://www.neverpaintagain.co.uk Wall Coatings

    utter rubbish! (googles comments, not yours!)> Plus one IS a ghost town. The rise in users is arguably a direct result of “The dear leader” forcing people to use it if they use other google products. It is boring, not engaging at all, visually crap, and is based around google employees and fans and SEO types. I would hope to see it discontinued at some point! Just pick any popular site that has sharing buttons and look at the number of google plus votes compares with other social sites such as twitter or facebook. BORING!

    • Wall Coatings

      4got to say. This post? +1 count is 11, tweet count is 39. !

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