Google+ celebrates biggest-ever month of usage

If you have a Google + account, you may have stopped using it due to inactivity on your feed. Coupled with evidence that the site was not as active as it was at launch, you may have believed you were correct in thinking that the site was slowing dying. Yet, according to Experian Hitwise, Google+ just had its biggest ever month in December, with 49,000,000 views.


Image source: Hitwise

The reason for the surge in traffic is unclear, but it represents a 55% increase over November 2011, so clearly the network is doing something right. While it still has a long way to go to reach Facebook, the surge in hits should hopefully prove encouraging to the employees who have worked on the project to bring it to fruition. When Google+ first launched, with users having to be emailed a beta invite, the service seemed to be highly active, and some people were prepared to buy their way into the beta as well due to the hype surrounding it.

After Google+ went public, it seemed to tail off a little, and then a lot. Many different infographics quickly appeared on the internet to show the meteoric rise and fall of Google's attempt at making a social network. While the company may have attempted the same with projects such as Wave and Buzz (both now defunct), Google+ was thought to have a chance against its competitors; supposedly the service recently passed 62,000,000 users in the past week. If this is the case, it could be argued that it does not retain the user base, who may infrequently login and then become disinterested again.

It is encouraging to see Google+ hits increasing, since the service is highly integrated with many other Google services that many people use daily. With the service being more tightly integrated with the latest version of Android, known as 'Ice Cream Sandwich', the figures could increase further as more devices receive the update.

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30 Comments

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I've noticed a lot of people using Google+ in the office (Google Business). It wouldn't surprise me if that is a target audience for Google+.

Change the title, it's misleading. I thought this was Googles actual numbers. In fact, Google isn't celebrating nothing, they know G+ isn't on the rise right now. So please change the title, we all know they aren't celebrating.

Intrinsica said,

So...they're celebrating something?

Sorry, I'm just nit-picking.

According to the title of this article, they're celebrating something lol

david said,
Change the title, it's misleading. I thought this was Googles actual numbers. In fact, Google isn't celebrating nothing, they know G+ isn't on the rise right now. So please change the title, we all know they aren't celebrating.

Don't take it literally. Google doesn't have cake, balloons and a DJ. It just a figure of speech. And yes you are 100%, they are not celebrating nothing.

I must be the only person (other than homeless people) that DOESN'T use Twitter, Facebook *OR* Google+.

I signed up for Facebook JUST for family, but I don't use.. I also signed up for Google+ but I have not used that either, so if it's so popular.. I must have missed that twitter . . . .

Youtube myspace.. and I'll google your Yahoo!

rijp said,
I must be the only person (other than homeless people) that DOESN'T use Twitter, Facebook *OR* Google+.

I signed up for Facebook JUST for family, but I don't use.. I also signed up for Google+ but I have not used that either, so if it's so popular.. I must have missed that twitter . . . .

Youtube myspace.. and I'll google your Yahoo!

You're just not into social networking or you don't have real life friends. Lol

rijp said,
I must be the only person (other than homeless people) that DOESN'T use Twitter, Facebook *OR* Google+.

I signed up for Facebook JUST for family, but I don't use.. I also signed up for Google+ but I have not used that either, so if it's so popular.. I must have missed that twitter . . . .

Youtube myspace.. and I'll google your Yahoo!

You are not the only one. I don't have accounts on facebook, twitter, google +, or any other social net .

62M users and 49M hits. Are the hits taking that surge of new user into account? Sounds like a whole lot of new accounts in which people don't even realize they have signed up for G+ and in turn, aren't using it. Does a Google account go towards a G+ account? I'm not sure. Sounds like a lot to do with the surge of Android devices being sold.

laserfloyd said,
62M users and 49M hits. Are the hits taking that surge of new user into account? Sounds like a whole lot of new accounts in which people don't even realize they have signed up for G+ and in turn, aren't using it. Does a Google account go towards a G+ account? I'm not sure. Sounds like a lot to do with the surge of Android devices being sold.

google+ is a google service, but you don't get signed up for it automagically.. you MUST sign up on purpose, you can't "accidentally" get an account.

So no a google account does NOT count toward google+.. you must HAVE a google account in order to get google+ however.

I am not surprised by the "surge" given the success of Android.. it's yet another way for people to stay "in touch"..

You must really be a fool to think that google can't separate 62M users from 49M hits..

I was expecting a surge in G+ traffic. I'm guessing a lot of people around here don't turn the TV on much (good for you! no seriously--it's a bad habit), but the whole Nexus campaign has been about Google+ features. It reminded me a lot of iPhone 4S ads being about nothing but Siri.

Ad after ad of huddles and social, saying next to nothing about the Nexus hardware itself. This is their biggest push for mindshare with Google+, so December was undoubtedly the first time millions of people ever even HEARD of it.

Joshie said,
I was expecting a surge in G+ traffic. I'm guessing a lot of people around here don't turn the TV on much (good for you! no seriously--it's a bad habit), but the whole Nexus campaign has been about Google+ features. It reminded me a lot of iPhone 4S ads being about nothing but Siri.

Ad after ad of huddles and social, saying next to nothing about the Nexus hardware itself. This is their biggest push for mindshare with Google+, so December was undoubtedly the first time millions of people ever even HEARD of it.

TV (non-wathchers) actually use MORE internet, so they view TV as an "evil" yet the internet will simply amount to the same thing, so if you think TV is "good for you" just because you DON'T watch just means YOU have no clue. If anything TV is much more distilled and filtered than Internet, even for supposed "strict" sites.

There is NOTHING wrong with TV, and to say TV is ALL bad is saying that water is ALSO bad, since it's the content of beer, moonshine, and is used to make drugs also.. So you can't drink water because some people use for bad purposes.. That ["don't turn the TV on much (good for you! no seriously--it's a bad habit),"] is a completely IGNORANT statement.

TV is fine, just because YOU get bored doesn't mean TV has no value for anyone else. There is PLENTY of good content on TV.

rijp said,

TV (non-wathchers) actually use MORE internet, so they view TV as an "evil" yet the internet will simply amount to the same thing, so if you think TV is "good for you" just because you DON'T watch just means YOU have no clue. If anything TV is much more distilled and filtered than Internet, even for supposed "strict" sites.

There is NOTHING wrong with TV, and to say TV is ALL bad is saying that water is ALSO bad, since it's the content of beer, moonshine, and is used to make drugs also.. So you can't drink water because some people use for bad purposes.. That ["don't turn the TV on much (good for you! no seriously--it's a bad habit),"] is a completely IGNORANT statement.

TV is fine, just because YOU get bored doesn't mean TV has no value for anyone else. There is PLENTY of good content on TV.


LOL wow, way to completely FREAK OUT over one tiny little aside in a post that otherwise said nothing on the topic and launch into a three paragraph rant about it. I'd be curious why you took it as such an insult, but it's so horribly off topic, I just have zero interest in pursuing it.

Just uh, chill out brew. I didn't insult your mom or anything.

Twisp said,
Stop writing that G+ is increasing when it's in fact people just creating Google accounts.

Google accounts generate Google+ users but doesn't automatically generate Google+ traffic, which is what the article is about.

It's more likely that some percentage of old and new G+ users just posted christmas and new year stuff there, same as people seem to like doing on other social networks. I'd bet hits will drop in January.

Neobond said,
There's a difference to people creating Google accounts, and actually visiting the Google+ service.

When you create an account and get asked if you want to upload a profile picture or skip you're on G+.

Twisp said,

When you create an account and get asked if you want to upload a profile picture or skip you're on G+.

I didn't know that, thanks

Neobond said,

I didn't know that, thanks


I don't know if you get asked to do that when you create an acc through your phone though, but still, that has to account for some of the traffic.

Twisp said,

I don't know if you get asked to do that when you create an acc through your phone though, but still, that has to account for some of the traffic.

On the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, when you are asked to enter your Gmail address, if you are not a Google+ member, then you will be asked to create an account. I'm not sure if this is a Nexus thing or an ICS thing.

If you enable the upload pictures automatically feature, you are using Google+.

ichi said,

Google accounts generate Google+ users but doesn't automatically generate Google+ traffic, which is what the article is about.

It's more likely that some percentage of old and new G+ users just posted christmas and new year stuff there, same as people seem to like doing on other social networks. I'd bet hits will drop in January.

i would think the opposite.. People that are creating G+ accounts is more important then just G+ website views.. I went to G+ to look at what it has to offer and left without signing up..

The reason for the surge in traffic is unclear...It is encouraging to see Google+ hits increasing, since the service is highly integrated with many other Google services that many people use daily.

I would say that the increase in usage is down to the number of Android device activations over the christmas period. As the article mentions, Google+ integrates well with other Google services, and most - if not all - Google services integrate well with Android devices.

Or maybe that's just my interpretation.

Intrinsica said,

I would say that the increase in usage is down to the number of Android device activations over the christmas period. As the article mentions, Google+ integrates well with other Google services, and most - if not all - Google services integrate well with Android devices.

Or maybe that's just my interpretation.


So activating Android creates a Google+ profile, or shows you the Google+ profile page? While Google+ is integrated in e.g. YouTube, I'm not sure registering for YouTube activates a new Google+ account? AFAIK, you have to explicitly register on Google+ to activate it and it's not something that should happen by surprise to anyone.

No, I didn't quite mean it like that. I meant more that someone who activates their new Android device will try out the various services to see the integration between the service and their phone. With Google+ being one of those available services, I'm not surprised to see a correlation between Android activations and a spike in hits on Google+.

Intrinsica said,
No, I didn't quite mean it like that. I meant more that someone who activates their new Android device will try out the various services to see the integration between the service and their phone. With Google+ being one of those available services, I'm not surprised to see a correlation between Android activations and a spike in hits on Google+.

Not quite. When I got my first android device in November 2010 I didnt go all crazy with downloading and using ever single google app. Still to this day I dont use every google service. I'm sure there are thousands of others out there that are also like that.

Besides as far as I know you still need to download the google plus app from the market.

CMG_90 said,

Not quite. When I got my first android device in November 2010 I didnt go all crazy with downloading and using ever single google app. Still to this day I dont use every google service. I'm sure there are thousands of others out there that are also like that.

Besides as far as I know you still need to download the google plus app from the market.


Nope Google+ comes automatically now at least it did for Galaxy Nexus.