In many cases, there’s a big gap between the picture that most of the mainstream tech media writers are trying to portray and to what is ACTUALLY happening on the ground. I think that one great example for that misconception is Google+.
The tech blogosphere (the new media) in particular loves to trash and slander Google’s social network, regardless to the changes and trends which occurs. The truth? Fuck it! The truth isn’t easy! The truth isn’t convenient! The truth doesn’t bring pageviews!
So yes, Google+ had a rough start, but since then it had a steep rise in all metrics- Engagement, total number of users, sharing and satisfaction. But wait… It’s a hell of a lot easier to ridicule the big web monster which been beaten by the Facebook underdog, so why should we be bothered by those little facts?
Last month, Google’s Vic Gundotra disclosed at Google I/O that users are spending about 12 minutes a day (about 360 minutes a month) on Google+ stream. That is already pretty close to Facebook’s 400 minutes, but besides a few shallow reports, the blogosphere was silent.
Just for comparison, when the Google+ ghost town story broke in February it appeared that every blogger with a half brain covered it. Now when Google+ engagement levels went up strong, all those bloggers kept this data on their half dead side of their brain (maybe its already fully dead by now).
But you know what, why listening to someone from inside Google? Let’s take some free impartial online tool to see how Google+ is performing. Let’s ask our dear old friend Compete what it thinks:
What? 32 million visitors in June? Just from the U.S. and desktop alone? Over 43% jump in a month? More than LinkedIn (24.6 million) and Pinterest (19.5 million)? How is it possible that no dickhead blogger from a popular publication reported it yet?
Even if the data aren’t completely accurate, that’s still a pretty big number which is far from LinkedIn’s and Pinterest’s. And I don’t think you can call either LinkedIn or Pinterest a “failure” or a “ghost town”.
I can also testify myself (although I’m representing only my website here) that I’m seeing a meaningful increase in activity from Google+ over the past two months or so. I don’t know if that is quite an indication, but I still thought it worth mentioning it.
However, it’s not only users who are adopting Google+ more recently, but also site owners. A study by Pingdom from a month ago has found that on 13.3% of the top 10,000 websites on the web there are Google+ plugins. Less than Facebook (24.3%) but yet more that Twitter (10%) and much more than LinkedIn (0.6%).
The last indication for Google+ strength and even superiority is coming from the recent annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report. According to the report, customers are mostly satisfied with Google+ (alongside Wikipedia) among all social media sites with a score of 78.
That is far more than Pinterest (69), Twitter (64), LinkedIn (63) and Facebook (61!). And the blogosphere? Although most media sites did covered it, almost non has attributed it any major significant. But why should they? These are just “customers”, there’s no chance they know more than the almighty bloggers…
There’s one blog post I saw, which I won’t mention its name nor link to, that perhaps symbolize the most how the new media unjustifiably relates to Google+. It states that Google+ wins but “just in terms of customer satisfaction”… Yeah, what those stupid customers really knows, right?
Update: Another idiotic post published by TechCrunch. Me not Likey…