How is Google+ working out for you?
Posted in Social Media & Reputation Management by Susie Hood on 24th of January, 2012
Back in late Dec 2011, Google's Paul Allen predicted that by the end of 2012, they would have approx 400 million users if they continued to sign up at a similar rate. Sign-ups are one thing, but how many people are actually using Google+ regularly? There has been no official word on the subject yet by Google themselves (despite it being widely reported recently that Larry Page claimed 60% of users were active daily on Google+ and 80% weekly, this seems to refer to engagement with any of Google’s products rather than specifically with Google+ alone) about how many of their current approximately 90 million users are actually actively contributing, sharing and posting on Google+ regularly. Is it really providing anything different for your average user over the other, more established social networks such as Facebook and Twitter? Personally, since I signed up in early July 2011, there was an initial flurry of activity where I added people I knew into my circles, gave myself a profile pic and interacted with a few friends/colleagues. I downloaded the android app on my phone and tablet, starting with good intentions of giving Google+ a good try, yet the inactivity of those in my circles soon meant my interest waned. Plenty of posting/sharing going on by those in my ‘internet marketing’ circle – but not much amongst my friends. My initial impressions were that I liked the look and feel of Google+, but until more people joined up (it wasn’t even open to all at this point) then there wasn’t a great deal of value in it for me. Logging in every few days, as I have done since then, certainly isn’t anywhere near matching the amount of time I spend on Twitter and Facebook currently, but they do say that you get out what you put in... One feature of Google+ that I use almost every day, without even thinking about it, is the automatic photo upload feature from my Android smartphone. Having an instant backup of any photos I take is a great idea – with them not being shared or made public unless I choose to do so. With more and more android smartphones out there than ever (with a reported 700,000 being activated daily around the world) the mobile Google+ experience is surely the route through which the most growth will come this year. I look forward to seeing how this area is developed more and more in the coming months and how the ‘out of the box’ experience improves for first time users. Leaving aside the personal, individual aspects of Google+, what does this mean for business or brand use? It seems that more and more high profile music artists, businesses and other brands are starting to make Google+ a part of their online marketing strategy, but unless time and effort is put into participating and communicating with others, having a profile alone won’t be enough to make a noticeable difference as it won't be offering anything up to date to interest to other Google+ users.