So How Popular Is Google Plus?

Questions about the site's popularity continue to swirl after the latest report.

Could Google Plus not be a complete failure? New stats released by GlobalWebIndex found that Google's social network has 343 million users a month, making it the second most active social network (Facebook has 700 million).

But did Google really turn it around? Some experts are crying foul over the numbers, saying they reflect only the amount of people with Google accounts. "Their numbers are calculated by how many people use their Google account in the year," said unMarketing president Scott Stratten on his blog. "They claim Google+ is a "layer" or "portal" part of the site." That means, according to Stratten, that Google is counting people who signed into their account to use YouTube, Gmail or other sites that are part of Google's empire.

Google executives denied this was the case.

For his part, Google's senior vice president for engineering Vic Gundotra quipped, "That is a lot of ghosts :-) Enjoy the weekend my transparent friends."

What do you think? Has Google Plus made it? Do you use it?

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  • Olivia

    If Google plus (343M) active users is really 50% of Facebook (700M), don't you think Google, Inc. would have announced this fact by now?
    Don't you think CEO Larry Page would have mentioned this fact during the recent earning conference call?
    Why does it take an obscure British marketing firm to make this announcement?
    And how does this British firm come up with the date?  According to the British firm, it uses "surveys" of users to come up with the "active" count.  But how do you use "surveys" to determine active users??

    Facebook in the last conferece calls mentioned that it has 1.1B active users.  However does this number recocile with the 700M used by the British firm.

    These are clearly bogus numbers from GlobalWebIndex.

  • Marc_Razia

    Face it, no matter who released the numbers you'd never believe it. You are in total denial. This is the same type of nonsense people used to say about Android.

    What is amusing is that you then turn around and accept the numbers Facebook releases as fact without a moments thought. Just priceless!

  • it sucks

    The numbers here are the absolute lowest estimate of Facebook and the absolute highest estimate of Google+. In reality, Facebook has between 700M- 1.1B active monthly users, while Google+ has between 125M - 343M active monthly users. Taking the middle of each gives you around 900M for Facebook and around 234M for Google+. These numbers make much more sense. The variability comes from how the users are factored in as "monthly users" and whether or not they are really active users, or just opened up a browser and were automatically logged in (among other things).

  • jctmpt

    It takes an obscure British marketing company to make this announcement -- that Google+ active user is now 50% of Facebook??

    Google SVP Vic Gundotra was surprised at the result?? "Wow -- that is a lot of ghost" ??

    Vic Gundotra is the person in charge of Google Plus!! 

    He should know the real number.  He was surprised because the results are NOT TRUE.

    If it is true that Google+ is 50% of Facebook, then CEO Larry Page would have announced it during the earning conference call last week.  But there was not a single word about Google Plus.

    From the very beginning, Google Inc has been fudging and distorting numbers to exaggerate the growth of Google+.

    Bottom line -- you just cannot trust Big Brother Google Inc. 

    In fact, a recent survey shows that consumers now trust Microsoft more than Google, Inc.

  • Marc_Razia

    "Their numbers are calculated by how many people use their Google account in the year"

    And what would be wrong with this even if it was true? Posting to a stream is not the only thing considered social. In fact, if making a post was the only thing that counted, than you'd have to remove all the game activity from Facebook stats, and all the users who "like" a website that are counted as an active FB users, and all the users who comment on a website using Facebook credentials.

    Judging G+ only on stream activity is a huge double standard.

    Consider these other scenarios:
    <1> If I make a comment on an article outside of Facebook (FB) using my FB account, that is FB usage. But if I respond directly to an actual G+ comment in Gmail, that is not G+ usage.

    <2> If I spend 40 minutes organizing photos on Google's Picasa and then 10 seconds sharing it to my G+ stream, that is 10 seconds of G+ usage. But if I do the same on FB its all FB usage.

    <3> If I watch a Youtube video anywhere on FB it counts as FB usage. But if I just watch the same video on Youtube its considered outside of Google's social usage even if I am logged in through G+.

    <4> If someone signs in to Youtube or Gmail or Blogger using the identity they created with G+ they are not considered actively using G+. But if someone signs into FB to only play games that is considered being very active on FB.

  • Lachlan Rayner

    Google continuously say's that more people post privately then they do publicly, so no third party site can accurately determine how many people actually use

  • Marc_Razia

    What we are seeing is just the evolution of justifications trying to deny the fact that G+ steadily growing.  
    <> At 10 million users it was: only Google employees use it
    <> At 40 million users it was: but its still a Ghost Town  
    <> At 90 million users it was: sure it has users, but they only use it a few minutes a month
    <> At 110 million users it was: yeah well Google employees aren't even using it
    <> At 135 million users it is: OK, there are active users but they are being forced use it.
    Its no secret that the media has been calling for G+'s death for over a year now.  Heck Facebook even got caught paying for said articles (remember this:

    But the reality is that just like Android when was called a flop and mocked by so many a few years back, G+ has been slowly and steadily growing despite all this nonsense. Just do a casual search on any topic inside G+ and you will see just how many millions of folks are posting.  

    So what do I think?  I think G+ is growing steady, but its been only 18 months.  Comparing it to FB all this time has been ridiculous   It even took FB four years to catch MySpace back in the day.  But in a few years time at this pace G+ will not only be formidable, but likely be unstoppable. Time will tell.