Mountain View, California – Barely a year ago, many people ignored Google’s Google+ social network as a “virtual ghost town.” According to an interesting report released recently, claims that while Twitter, the current darling of social networks, continues to attract active users, but Google+ has finally surpassed it to claim second position in social spheres based on active monthly users around the globe, showing basically what we all knew was coming, and that is the rise and dominance of Google in the social network arena.
Although Facebook is still the biggest of the social network by a large margin that still has a massive lead, but according to GlobalWebIndex, Google has somehow managed to keep the smirk grin off its face, and Google+, with 343-million active users, has become the second most popular social network to be blossoming worldwide. As Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior VP of engineering, observed, “That is a lot of ghosts.”
The details that emerged from a UK market research firm that has just updated their index shows that Facebook has almost 700-million active users. The research group has classified active users as those who used or contributed to a site in the past month. The details have been confirmed and reported by Forbes as well, and you can bet a huge part of those active users are the millions and millions of proud Android users.
However, all three of the major global social media hub, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter are growing by leaps and bounds. “Data accumulated by GWI.8 (Q4 2012) depicts the continued shift in usage from localized social platforms to global ones with huge growth for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. The fastest growing network in 2013 in terms of “Active Usage” was Twitter which grew 40% to 288m across our 31 markets (approximately 90% of global Internet population). Around 21% of the global Internet population now use Twitter actively on a monthly basis. This compares to 21% actively using YouTube, 25% actively using Google+ and a staggering 51% using Facebook on a monthly basis.”
While the current figure makes Google’s numbers look low, but if computed along with YouTube that gap is much much smaller. In general Google’s doing just fine, and once they manage to make all YouTube users Google+ users (just like they recently did with the Google Play Store reviews) they will be close to leading the charge.
Facebook is still the top social network, but Google+ has moved into second place. (Credit: GlobalWebIndex)
While most of these numbers are being compared in terms of “active users” which can mean a wide array of things. However, the question now is how Google Plus has become such an active social network, bubbling with users and activity, yet many still label it a ghost town, with hardly any real top users. In fact, some even assert that Google employees are the only ones that regularly use the website, another false accusation.
Admittedly, the graph displays a lot of Chinese and Russian only websites, some are doing well. We also had Tumblr, Pinterest, Myspace, Orkut and even Bebo still on this list. Surprisingly, Myspace was quite high in the charts with active users.
Pretty interesting results to say the least, and looking ahead, it appears that the global networks, led by Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube, will all continue to grow at the expense of the local social networks. The fact that Google is now integrating all applications will only be better for the social network in the long run.