This month, Google will be introducing a number of different products and services attached to their social network, Google+.
According to Google themselves, the network which was launched in June last year already has over 80 million worldwide users, with 60 percent using the network on a daily basis. Obviously this isn’t a speck of dust on Facebook’s 800 million users or even Twitter’s 300 million users. Despite this, it is documented that it took nearly 4 years for facebook to reach 80 million users, so it seems Google+ is a fast learner having only been active for under a year. Google is suggesting that some changes being make to the network at the moment are going to increase the number of Google+ users significantly in the next couple of months.
However, some analysts are sceptical about the way Google+ is measuring and gaining active users. According to Google representatives if (while logged into Google+) you search the web, access your Google Docs or you check your Gmail, you are engaging with the Google+ network. Also, Google won’t reveal the number of people actually using the Google+ feature pages out of the supposed daily users. Google’s argument is that:
Google+ is so integrated into the overall experience that what matters is the number of users interacting with any Google site.
Google+’s new features, including their integrated approach with search and a automatic Google+ account when a user signs up for a Gmail account, basically means that Google+ is going there, whether you like it or not. Should Facebook and Twitter finally be worried?
Twitter has been quick to argue against Google’s methods of self-promotion after Google boosted their own Google+ posts in search results, which is against the search engines algorithm and code of conduct. Twitter have also suggested that they aren’t just social; they give users personal and adapted news and put them in touch with people they actually want to communicate with, without being invasive.
The changes being made to Google+ have seen more personal search results, which integrates updates from your friends and family into what you search. However, these features only work if you are logging into Google+, and if you use Gmail the onus is on the user to opt out.
It strikes me that Google have realised that their constant nagging to interact with Google+ might get on people’s nerves so they are developing other ways to try and ensure Google+ is competing with its direct rivals.
Twitter and especially Facebook are safe from the Google Dragon, for the moment at least.
What do you think about Google+ and are you using it? Do you think surfing the internet and checking your emails should be included as network engagement? Let us know in the section below.