The Silicon Alley Insider recently released a chart that details the explosive growth Google+ has experienced since it launched. According to Google’s data, the site has approximately 170 million registered users – which is impressive, considering the social network only launched in June.
But, the question remains: how many people are actually using Google+? Google’s impressive user base has spawned much Internet-discussion about what actually defines an “active user.” After all, if you have a Gmail account, you’re basically bullied into signing up for a Google+ profile by default.
It seems as though Google doesn’t want to reveal how many people are actually actively engaged on their social network, which the Wall Street Journal referred to as a “virtual ghost town.” One of the problems is that Google’s definition of an active user involves the use of other products that have been integrated into the Google+ experience, including YouTube, the Android-marketplace…and Google.com. The company has yet to reveal exactly how many users are actively participating in Google+ as a stand-alone network.
But Does it Really Matter?
Alright, time for a change in tone. I actually really like Google+, as much as I enjoy making fun of it. The update is awesome. Brands are big there. One of my favorite web cartoonists, the Oatmeal, has established a pretty big following on his page. In all, the site has its own potential, and at times it feels like an exclusive club that has yet to go mainstream.
One of the running jokes on the web is that Google is a ghost town. But Danny Sullivan offers this great comparison in a recent post on Marketing Land:
But you know when you go into an Apple Store, and it’s filled with sometimes scary Apple fanatics who seem to have arrived at a holy place? That’s Google+ for Google.If Google+ isn’t anything else, it’s a place that Google fans can call home. It’s a place that Google’s never really had before, a spot for its millions (and let’s face it, there are millions) of fanboys and fangirls to rejoice in all things Google.
What are your thoughts? Will Google+ ever reach Facebook proportions?