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Google+ to Become the 2nd Largest Social Networking Site After 12 Months

Aaron Steinfeld

Google PlusIn recent news, apparently I'm a blogger who follows surveys and studies in an attempt to appear more intellectual. In more important and, dare I say, more relevant news, a recent Bloomberg/YouGov survey was released about a month after Google+ opened its doors to the public. The survey's purpose is to assess the social media trends and outlook potential of Google's new venture after a year's time, as well as to compare it against its competitors. The results were nothing but fascinating. And we're walking...

So, have you heard of Google+? Oh, good. You're on top of things then, my intelligent friend. Apparently Google is this highly successful technology firm which employs nearly 25,000 people. But jobs and innovations aren't important; what IS important is the ever-growing popularity of rich social media applications and how they affect us, of course! When Google+ became available for public consumption, it almost immediately became a hot commodity. This was aided by the fact that it was primarily only available by invite only, just as Gmail was when it first was introduced in 2004. Regardless of the reasons, however, Google+'s popularity is growing.

Already 13% of adult Internet users in the US have signed up for a Google+ account with another 9% planning to sign up in the next 12 months.  Those signing up are also highly engaged:
  • 45% of users report reading content once a day or more (only Facebook's 62% is higher among social networks)
  • 46% of Google+ users report creating content (e.g., creating updates; posting links) at least once a week.  This is on par with Twitter (42%) - which focuses on easy content creation

Did you think the above stats were brutally and/or astoundingly interesting? Wonderful–but wait! There's more!

The demographics of Google+ users are significantly different from other social networks.  As existing networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have matured as products, they are attracting a more mature demographic. Google early adopters skew young, male and educated:
  • 3 men for every 2 women (vs. 1 man for every 1.2 women on Facebook)
  • 59% has a college degree (vs. 37% for Facebook)
  • 48% are Single (vs. 33% of Facebook users)

Poor Google+ Single MalesWhat else can we learn from these stats? Since 48% of the users of Google+ are single, one could easily presume that they're busier playing Dungeons and Dragons as opposed to getting, well, busy. On perhaps a more serious note, there will be plenty of early joiners that will sign up for accounts and never populate them with information or photos. Also, as with most things technologically trendy, younger people will always make up the larger membership percentage when compared to their elders, so this shouldn't be much of a surprise.
Google Social Network Penetration

I take a few things from the above chart. Besides the obvious speculated growth in Google+, both LinkedIn and Twitter continue to push forward and maintain a following. Myspace, on the other hand, is most likely destined to fade into an awkward and apathetic obscurity. We'll call them Friendster 2.0. Sorry, Justin. And, while emphasizing that this data is primarily speculation, the Facebook goliath may finally  be showing a crack in its armor (which can only be accomplished by rolling a high number on a D20 while riding on the back of a phoenix wearing a cloak of fiery doom, for all you Dungeons and Dragons fans out there).

To learn more about this study, visit yougov.comCJP

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