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Google+: Here for good or here for a few days


Google+: Here for good or here for a few days

Kelly MacNeil July 29, 2011

There's been a lot of buzz about Google's newest foray into the social networking world, Google+, but it's hard to tell if the gossip is warranted yet. Some have pointed to the project's unique features, such as video chat conferencing for companies and families, while others are skeptical that Facebook users will hop onto the new platform. 

Within three weeks of Google+'s official launch on June 28, 20 million people flocked to the site. It seemed destined for success, but the numbers have already started to lag, according to The International Business Times.

This may simply be a sign of maturation. The users who were already interested in Google+ have mostly signed on by now – the week ending on July 9 saw 821 percent growth, followed by 283 percent growth by July 16. The week ending July 23 saw a dip in traffic of 3 percent. What may be more worrisome is the fact that the time users spent on the site dropped by 10 percent, to 5 minutes and 15 seconds.

This pales in comparison Facebook's average of almost 10 minutes for each user every day, as revealed by Nielsen statistics.

Of course, there are some nifty draws for Google, too. ZDNet.com reports that one of the biggest attractions is the Google Circles, where users can group friends according to what they want to share and what they want to let the encircled people see on their profile.

The website takes the anger about some Google features as a good sign, too, because people are passionate.

"Google+’s privacy-based approach has gained the social network its fair share of fans, and it would be stranger than anything if they couldn’t work up the passion to brainstorm improvements. And unlike Facebook, where users now tend to take odd changes to privacy and functionality settings as the norm, Google+ is still very much a work in progress."