Is Google+ a "virtual ghost town"?

In January, Google announced that its Google+ social networking service had signed up over 90 million users. Later a third party report, claims that Google+ had surpassed the 100 million user mark and predicted that it would have at least 400 million members by the end of 2012.

Now a new report casts some doubts about the future of Google+. According to The Wall Street Journal, comScore claims that while tens of millions of users are signing up, they are not doing much once they are there. comScore's numbers show that between September 2011 and January 2012, Google+ users only spend three minutes a month on the service.

Those numbers are dwarfed by those of Facebook, who has 845 million users. comScore claims that during the same time period, Facebook users spent a whopping six to seven hours a month on the service. comScore's numbers are for PC access and don't count mobile users.

Other companies report slow response to Google+ compared to Facebook. Zynga, which launched games on Google+ several months ago, has not seen as much activity as planned. Its COO John Schappert said, "So far, Google+ is a nice platform but it's been slow on the uptick with users right now."

Intel says that while its Google+ page gets dozens of comments to its posts on that service, its Facebook page gets thousands, thanks it part to its nine million "fans".

Google is trying to defend itself, with a spokesperson saying that comScore's numbers are "dramatically lower" than Google's own internal numbers. However, the company declined to offer up its own user statistics.

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Just my two cents, but:
G+=meet new folks with similar ideas and interests
Facebook=stay in touch with old friends/family

On G+ I have had really great conversations with scientists, photographers and other artists, even Google developers. On Facebook you can discover that OMG! Heather broke up with her bf! So deep.
I spend much more time on G+ now, only using Facebook to message a few friends.

The only reason I stopped using G+ was because I got rid of my Android phone and went down the WP7 route.
If they gave us a G+ app or integrated it into the hub then I would return. I suspect it ain't gonna happen though. As much as I am enjoying WP, the apps just ain't coming fast enough.

Had it but went back to Facebook. Just couldn't convince enough of my friends to sign up. I'll tell you one thing. The world doesn't need a another social network site.

I have a Google+ account. Last time I was on there, there was only 1 of my friends who still posts there. Guess that says it all. Going to stick to Twitter and Facebook. Maybe So.Cl in the future, if they improve it.

It still amazes me this simplified mentality of one thing versus another thing.

Facebook, Google+, and Twitter (the ones that always get banded together when it's convenient to put one or the other down) are so different that they are not exactly competing.

The only similarity is that there are profiles for people, and for companies or "famous" people. Each one of these services has different ways of managing user content.

The strength of Google+ is that it combines Twitter's Public-oriented content, with Facebook's profiles. It's not copying or doing anything nasty, in my opinion. The model of a "person's profile" is as old as mankind.

Facebook's Subscriptions are somewhat obscured. And while, I can easily navigate to find them, the "normal" users can't even understand the Lists.

I love the three services, and use them regularly. I see no point in pitting one against the other, each does what it's supposed.

I couldn't agree more. +1 I think Google+ fills a gap in social networking in regards in sharing things you more conveniently, especially if you use Facebook just to communicate with friends and not bombard their status updates with several things you found interesting on the net etc. Plus there is not character limit like Twitter, and you can post with images/videos previews.

Google+, Twitter and Facebook are all great - but of course not everyone needs each service.

Doctor Neurus said,
It still amazes me this simplified mentality of one thing versus another thing...

google + artificially inflated their numbers by giving you a g+ account for doing almost anything in the google panel. I got one somehow without even realizing and I don't use it.I'm sure they count a ton of dead accounts actived by users this way just to look good against facebook but the truth is, I'm yet to know a single person that uses it.

all I see are photographers who are always chasing the next big thing and bloggers that like to look l33t with their g+ urls.

sorry but g+ is dead.

G+ would have been more successful when it was initially launched and was invite-only. However, they didn't move from invite-only to free-for-all fast enough, and by then the initial hype was gone and G+ more or less forgotten. I agree with the report, I spend about 3 minutes a month of G+ to see if there's anything new, and usually, there isn't.

I have an account but don't use it. No one I know has a Google + account and i only add people i personaly know

russianmonk said,
I closed my G+ last month. Never used it. Also closed my FB and joined Diaspora*

Shoot, I forgot, I requested an invite for that AGES ago!

*Searches email.* S*** I was invited back in November!

Google+ a virtual ghost town? Hah! Try the Poke Mart Forums. It was a forum I was a mod for that, in 2007, the administration pretty much decided to, "let die," but is still technically hosted. There's not a single person still using it. It also started in 2007 & barely had any members anyways, so, yeah...

This doesn't surprise me at all. Not one single person I know has a Google+ account. I bet people signed up when it first launched but don't use it anymore. I created a profile but added very little to it.

I prefer Google+ to Facebook but I just don't find myself using either social network much. I'm a fan of Twitter as a quick source of news and a connection to people that share similar interests.

astralbaby said,
It will change maybe when timeline is forced down our throats.

Users seem to love the timeline idea though. There isn't much resistance to this change.

astralbaby said,
It will change maybe when timeline is forced down our throats.

I love timeline. Can't wait one day when I get old and my grand kids see what their grandfather was up to.

I think we all are good with FB and Twitter. I personally use Twitter primarily, FB for just seeing pics of the nephews; can't stand all the other whining and bloated UI. No real consumer need for another choice. Then again, I won't say the same for mobile OSs.

Google has to find a better way to integrate G+ on Android system. Upload videos/pictures, update status... etc etc

I'm using Facebook less and less.
I am signed up to Google+ but I don't use it and will probably close it as part of my "slimming down" on services I am signed up to.

Although I have just changed my email over to GMail, but I use another front end (Windows Live Mail) and a forwarding web address (address@mysite,.com) anyway.

A small number of my friends and I have G+ but none of us use it. I think they need to link the Google account with everything even more than they have, if that makes sense.

The only two people that have any frequent activity are a science blog I follow and another science related blogger. Aside from that? *crickets*

I dont even want to use FB. I'd rather someone call or email me, that being said, I realize that times are changing and so I use FB out of necesity. No way in hell I'm picking up yet another social network though...

I like G+ more than FB (FB is a whore of society) but no one is there. Try convincing people to use it, they wont cos they have everything on FB

I like G+ more than FB (FB is a whore of society) but no one is there. Try convincing people to use it, they wont cos they have everything on FB

Auzeras said,
I like G+ more than FB (FB is a whore of society) but no one is there. Try convincing people to use it, they wont cos they have everything on FB

I find the same, that and people just find it's not what they're expecting and ditch it

I like Google+ as much as Facebook if not more so, but nobody uses it so it's pointless. I don't know a single one of the recommended must just pick them at random.

I spend most of my time online social life on facebook, google tried to force me to create a stupid Google+ profile many times, declined all of them!

Had an account for months, not one of my friends have even heard of G+ let alone used it and I have not used it since August 2011.

Like the previous poster said, Google were too late.

Interesting that when I actively use it, as does my Hackerspace, and a number of the other Makerspaces I collaborate with, plus co-workers, friends...
I use Facebook for keeping in touch with old friends, I use Google+ for sharing with people, along with following what projects people are working on, etc.

Yeah, that's about how I use Plus too. It seems better equipped for that type usage compared to Facebook. Maybe Google should try to push that aspect. People use Facebook and Twitter because the two services offer different ways to communicate with people. Plus adds a third, but people just see it as a Facebook clone, so why bother using it when you already have Facebook.

Mercuie said,
why bother using it when you already have Facebook.

This. For the vast, vast majority of social networkers. They don't need anything else, when Facebook does enough for them already. If G+, or any other network is to survive it needs to offer something extra, something different. And that unfortunately means it will also never be as all-encompassing, and big, as Facebook

I think people are constantly comparing G+ with fb and expecting the same thing in G+. That's why they are disappointed. I am using G+ more actively than ever. I even come here less often these days.

G+ is not to share your daily active with your friend. G+ is to find the people that you share the same ideas/opinions with. If people are expecting to see just another social network, then they probably wouldn't know what G+ actually does.

And, it would be ghost town to those people with no circle, no friend's status, no game, and nothing to share and nothing to gain from it.

Edited by morrizz, Feb 29 2012, 6:12am :

Signed up, checked it out, left. Not much there and why would I need a new social network when facebook is all i need and all my friends use it. We don´t need a copycat from google, needs to be something brand new to get me interested.

JakeSWE said,
We don´t need a copycat from google, needs to be something brand new to get me interested.

But therein lies the ultimate challenge

JakeSWE said,
We don´t need a copycat from google, needs to be something brand new to get me interested.

It's interesting that you say that because virtually ALL the latest features and changes that have enhanced Facebook, are a direct result of them being introduced to the world by Google+. The way "Lists" are handled is due to "Circles" on Google+, being able to "subscribe" to someone without having to add them as a friend is again because of the unidirectional way that "Circles" are handled in Google+. Facebook's new photo viewing interface is nearly a complete rip off of the one in Google+...

Competition has bred innovation, just as it should.

i closed my google+ account a week ago because i thought to myself "no self respecting individual has one of these just to have one"