Google Plus, a phoenix from the ashes or clever integration
Global Web Index released a report this week ranking social networks in order of active users. As expected Facebook is a clear number one with no real danger of being caught. 903 million people have a Facebook account, with 693 million of these considered active users, accounts that are accessed regularly. The network with the second most active users is Google Plus, but with 343 million active users they are not yet a threat to Zuckerberg’s giant. YouTube was counted as a social network for the first time in this report and proved it was worthy of this classification rolling in a casual 300 million active users with Twitter almost level with this, used by 21 percent of the total, global internet.
Google Plus yielding only to the front runner may come as a surprise, especially as you’d be hard pushed to find anyone who checks their circles or updates a status on the network frequently if at all. This combined with the near demise just months from its launch means that many will struggle with the figures. For many however Google IS the internet and the recovery of their very own social network tells more of a tale of successful integration of all their services than of the network itself. Next time you log in to Gmail, see that this is linked to your presumed dusty G+ account, set up when it was exclusive and promised something new and exciting. Google Maps and Google Drive too are linked, and any and all of this activity flags you as an active user of Google Plus.
Not to discredit much that Google Plus is useful for. Its mobile and tablet apps are beautiful showcasing the slick design and functionality Google have built their reputation on. The integration too is seamless and organic, something which others struggle with. For business this integration means that Google Plus is hugely important as a platform. It is made by Google after all, the company with which you want to become BFFs with if you want to rank highly on their directory, and they therefore pull a vast amount of their info from within making it invaluable.
Let’s not forget too that Google have been in the social networking game for less than 2 years and now they seem to have found their feet, who knows what will happen next year. The fastest growing networks are Twitter and Facebook, so it looks as though there will be no contention for the top of the table at least for a year or so, but Twitter may well come into contention with Google for the number two spot by the time the next report is released.
One thing is certain, and that is that the big 4 social networks, continue to grow, and are increasingly a prime method of communication for people and brands alike and are not going anywhere soon.