Google+ Claims the #2 Spot in Social Networks

The fix is in.

In the competitive world of Social Media, Google+ has moved ahead of Twitter as the 2nd largest social network, behind Facebook.


Wow, you might say. How much time do you spend on Google+? That’s what I thought, not much. Is that bad?

Well, let’s break down those numbers a bit. The study looked at total number of active users. Back in October, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook claimed that his platform had reached 1 billion active users. You can see his post on his Facebook timeline announcing that milestone right here.

Meanwhile, Google+ has inched up to what they claim is 343 million active users. Here’s the catch. Have you noticed how when you log in to your Gmail account that you are logged in to Google+? How about when you log in to your YouTube channel? Yup, you’re logged in to Google+. Want to write a review? You guessed it, Google+. So what we are really seeing here is inflated numbers due to “forced registry” when you want to do other things in the Google franchise.

Right now you are probably saying, “Who cares, Jim.”

You might be right. Google seems to be flaunting these numbers to act like the big player in social networking that they wanted to be, however, the actual users for “social networking” is probably much smaller.

But—we do have to care, not because of the number of people that have “signed up” for some Google service. As we have talked about before in this column, Google+ is the king of the hill for search. Google gives preference to posts in its own platform (+) when ranking things for its search engine. If you want to get your brand, your name, your book—whatever—ranked higher, you need to be posting to Google+.

The one thing the study does show, when it comes to social networking, Facebook is far ahead of the crowd.

What’s your take on Google+? Do you find yourself regularly posting on that platform? Do you use it as an actual relationship building tool?


Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

37 thoughts on “Google+ Claims the #2 Spot in Social Networks”

  1. I’m not a google+ fan. I find it more convoluted having a personal page and a book page and it’s difficult to share circles between profiles. I haven’t mastered it, obviously, and that’s probably why. The Facebook platform seems less cumbersome in this way. But thanks to this post, I am now aware of my contributions to that inflated number…I use my google log-in for almost everything that offers it and I don’t even have a G-mail account!

    1. That’s exactly why the numbers are growing, but, in comparison to FB, its not even close. Just make sure you post to Google+ at least once per week to keep yourself in the search algorithms.

  2. I find the G+ circles easier to manage than the FB lists, making it easier on G+ to make sure a post is going only to the circle you want. (some shared stuff goes to family but not public, some to public but not family, and some to everybody) FB seems to manage photos and posts and notifications better and the home page and me-page is snazzier on FB. The Like system on FB can be confusing but seems to make more intuitive sense than Google’s +1. The integration of G+ with other Google products (gmail, Search, Maps, News, YouTube, Blogspot) is consumer-friendly. FB has no such array of products, although I heard a rumor they were buying WordPress.

      1. Thanks Timothy,
        You’re right on most accounts above. It sure would be nice to be able to manage everything from one location, but that’s never going to happen.

  3. I have Google+ but rarely use it, and I definitely don’t post to it. I really wish all these social media platforms were linked. Something similar to WordPress would be nice. Write one post and have it appear on all the social media you specify.

    1. That sure would make life simpler. Thanks for comment. Check out this weeks post to learn how to monitor what is going on through one location!

  4. Great article Jim! Over the past few months, I’ve been dabbling in G+ more and finding it preferable to facebook in several areas. G+ has a steeper learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, using the Circles to group like-minded friends and the Community function to communicate with shared-interest individuals has proved G+ superior as a place to find and share valuable information. I think G+ provides more compartmentalization than facebook, which allows more productive interaction and the ability to focus on certain Communities or Circles when you’re in search of something specific, and to filter out more of the noise when you’re not in the mood for it. I’m not abandoning facebook, but I am finding myself spending just as much time, if not more, on G+.

    1. Thanks, CM. I really appreciate the comments. You are right on the mark about G+, problem is, not enough people use it like you do so its not as powerful as a social media platform, but it’s essential for SEO purposes.

  5. I agree that G+ trumps facebook on the personal/professional front. I have to juggle both profile and page on facebook and am always accidentally posting to the wrong one. G+ lets you have one hub and just send out to specific groups. I love it. Also, the hangout feature is really valuable and, I think, under used right now. The potential there is huge for classes, seminars, public readings and author launches and events.
    I’m really happy to see it catching on and rising up too. The number of people using it, of course, will directly affect how valuable it ends up.
    Looking good so far.

    1. Thanks Frances. You are right, the hangout is a great feature, but for some reason, a lot of people just don’t engage with it. Maybe Skype is so ingrained that people gravitate over there.

      You have some great ideas about classes and book launches.
      Thanks again!

  6. I share things of interest on Google+ from time to time, but I seldom have interaction with my Google+ contacts. Plus as others here have said, it’s a bit complicated. I’d like to think you’re right in your assessment, CM Skiera, because I’m over Facebook. Just have to eek out the time to figure out Google+.

    1. Thanks JP. It’s tough to find the time for each of these. I try to focus on one platform per week, besides whatever my primary platform may be.

  7. I appreciate Google+ over FB. The interface is more consistent, it’s easier to find interest-groups and like-minded people, and the way to arrange what you see (or more or less of that) is superior to FB.

    Comparing the number of people between FB and G+ is a bit odd since FB has been around many more years so everyone and their grandma knows about that.

    1. Thanks Paul, and you’re right. Many people don’t realize that Google+ has only been around for about 2 years. It will be interesting to see where we are in a few years from now.

      The one thing to keep in mind is that FB is a business that operates as a stand alone, which of course includes advertising. G+ is just one segment of a huge search engine/email platform and more.

  8. Interesting post. I have used G+ for over a year. It has started to grow, and I find it easier to use than FB. I have circles for writers, acquaintances, friends, and so on. It helps when sharing posts from blogs, or other items to share. I tend to use the three, Twitter, FB, & G+ as many friends do not follow one or t’other. ,

  9. Excellent post on the increasing momentum of Google +. Valuable information to pay attention to. I attest to the steep learning curve, but the challenge makes it worthwhile after all!!

        1. Too funny!! It is a bit cumbersome on the page and how that all works. My tweets go to my page and not to my profile. Someday, maybe I will have a V8 moment when I figure it out!

    1. Thanks for asking that, Patrick. We don’t have a Google+ group yet. I’m on G+ but I can’t stand navigating it, and the Evil Mastermind would have to come out of his bunker to man it, so not sure if/when that’ll happen. 😉

  10. I’ve got a G+ presence, but I’m not using it for much beyond posting links to my blog. (And, I’m embarrassed to admit, I would probably forget to do even that if my blog weren’t on Blogger; Blogger nags me to post a link on G+ as soon as I publish a post.)

    And yes, we should have an Indies Unlimited group/circle/thingum on G+, if we don’t have one already.

  11. Very informative post, Jim, thanks for this. What makes me smile are the ten sites in that chart which are marked “China only”. I think the’re going to go higher as time passes 🙂

    1. Yeah, I found that interesting as well. I’ve heard rumors about some mobile only FB and G+ platforms because apparently that is a way they can get around the blocks that China imposes the internet. I will be interesting to watch these numbers over time.
      Thanks for your comments!

  12. I have all but abandoned Google+ because of the forced registry, which messed with all of my logins so that I couldn’t get back into any of the sites. Then every time I thought I was recovering a lost password, I ended up with a new G+ account. I think I have four now. That might inflate the “active user” number a bit, too.

  13. That’s the biggest complaint I hear about Google+. It’s frustrating, but I handle G+ accounts for many clients and I love to be able to do it from one location. You should be able to migrate the other accounts into one if you can remember the logins for each.

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