In a letter released publicly last week, Google co-founder Larry Page laid some news on us all about the state of Google Plus. Far contrary to the doomsday expectations that we have countered here before, Page highlighted some unexpected good news about the state of the Plus and the general user experience across all Google products.
It’s still early days, and we have a long way to go. But these are tremendously important changes, and with over 120 Google+ integrations to date (including Google Search, YouTube and Android), we are on the right track. Well over 100 million users are active on Google+, and we’re seeing a positive impact across the Web, with Google users being able to recommend search results and videos they like—a goal we’ve had ever since we started the company.
Activity on the Google+ Stream itself is increasing too. We’re excited about the tremendous speed with which some people have amassed over one million followers, as well as the depth of the discussions taking place among happy, passionate users—all evidence that we’re generating genuine engagement.
Experian backed up Page's comments with a study of their own that verified that actual engagement on Google Plus was up 27% in the last month alone.
In the wake of the claims that Google Plus was a seldom-visited "ghost town", the powers that be at Mountain View have sought to comunicate that Google is a different paradigm than, say, Facebook. It is not about Google Plus independent from other Google product offerings. Plus is simply a part of the overall Google experience, which includes search, YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, etc. These things integrate and support each other. So, even if someone does not "visit" Plus with the frequency they would Facebook - and why would most people? - their use of other Google products does contribute to an overall experience.