Google+ hypergrowth – Can it sustain it?

by Peter Young on July 25, 2011 · 4 comments

There was an interesting infographic that came out last week relating to the growth rate of Google+. Despite the fact it hasn’t even been live for a month yet, user figures put uptake of Google+ at around 18 Million users and rising. Startling figures particularly when one

Whilst overall these user figures pail into insignificance in comparison to Facebook who have upwards of 750 million users, it is still a hugely interesting fact. Google has achieved what Facebook and Twitter managed in around 1/50th of the time. Further to that we have to bring into the equation some major caveats

  • This is just the first phase of the Google+ Project. We know there is more to come
  • Social is at the heart of many of Google’s new products. If we take a look at the new changes to the Google Places pages, and the prominence of both UGC and in particular the fact they have stated there will be greater integration of social
  • The wider Google Product set. I would suggest once people have a reason to use Google there is a plethora of tools out there for them to use and make Google a more significant part of their communications toolkit
  • Closer integration with Google Docs. To me this is another of those tolls that with greater collaboration with + could be a real big usage piece for business users.

Hypergrowth often comes with disadvantages, however lets face it – Google have been here before – and two failed social attempts to boot. Google+ in many ways is not a new product but the result of a number of trials and testing. When one looks at the wider picture as well – its obvious Google have a very clear strategy as to where they are going and how they are getting there. I would have to suggest here that neither Twitter nor Facebook would appear to have that same luxury.

Google+ Comments

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah July 25, 2011 at 11:48 am

It is interesting to see how fast Google+ has grown, but I don’t like the infographic. If all social media products were launched in the same year, there would be more reason for comparison – ie. which is the most successful launch? There are so many other variables that play a part.
Comparison to Facebook is the worst though due to the different phases of being able to sign up – universities, businesses, high schools and then the general public. Also, people are probably more inclined to sign up for social networks now which would lead to the Google+ boom.

Paul Maddock July 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

While this infographic certainly is interesting to see, and a compelling idea that someone might knock facebook off it’s perch – I don’t think it really shows us anything.

Comparing Facebook, which was relatively unknown in the beginning (same with Twitter), to Google’s mega PR machine in an age that is infitely more digitally aware will of course result in the type of uber-acceptance visualised above.

Time will tell over the sustainability of Google+, I for one have 3 profiles and no way to integrate them. Additionally I would also challenge that all of the Google+ users are also using Facebook – I don’t know of many at the moment who have switched – which would be a true conversion in my eyes.

Peter Young July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I completely agree that comparing directly against Facebook is a bit pointless, hence why I was so careful about drawing direct comparisons with Facebook/Twitter

The rise of Google+ though is still startling. Neither Wave nor Buzz got this level of traction – and both still had the mighty Google bandwagon behind it – so suggesting Google’s mega PR machine will overcome all is probably slightly wide of the mark.

Its early days for Google, and they certainly have challenges ahead of them. I think the launch of business pages and other integrated products will see Google+ continue to prise traffic away from the likes of Twitter/Facebook.

Paul Maddock July 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I agree with that, Wave was disappointing and Buzz was barely there.

Perhaps it came at a time when we’re yearning for a Facebook killer with all the privacy issues.

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