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Image from: J Corey Davis
Now that the dust has settled from the initial launch of Google+ it is time for some analysis of the social network’s functionality and popularity. No doubt people are extremely excited with the new release of Google’s social platform, which links together personalized search, a customizable social network, and the ability to add value to any page on the web with the new and highly versatile +1. 2011 was certainly an exciting year for the company, with over 37.9 billion dollars of revenue, 96% of which came from the advertising budgets of companies such as: Amazon, eBay, Expedia, Lowes, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Verizon, and State Farm (to name a few sources that WordStream provided). The search giant is literally dominating the online marketplace, and it doesn’t look like they are losing any momentum.
Google+ was certainly controversial during its initial launch phases. Many people doubted the ability of the famously creative company to turn their focus from search onto the development of a social platform. But it seems that once again, the people at Google have gone above and beyond the expectations of the consumer population. People can now publicly +1 literally any page on the internet. In December, the landing page for the feature of Google+ (google.com/+1/button also known as the sub-domain plusone.google.com) has grown to over 40 million unique visitors. Since November, Compete has been tracking this activity and the monthly growth for the feature has been enormous. As shown below, the Compete.com graphs for plusone.google.com are showing the growth for the month of December (remember that this feature has only been tracked since November which is where the data points start to appear):
It is safe to say that the +1 button is being received well by the audiences using Google+. These growths are tremendous and indicate that Google+, thus far, has been a success. The Google Circles feature has also been one of the primary differentiators between Google+ and its competitors. The simple and very visual way to segment friend groups, audiences, and customers is sure to be an excellent tool for varieties of users.
Feature analysis is great, but when it comes to the popularity and reception of a social platform by its users, nothing paints a more realistic picture for computer (non-mobile) usage than the panel based performance of a website based on click stream data. With a 1% sample size for the US, Compete’s enormous panel of 2 million Americans is the best measure of a website’s popularity for non-mobile US based users. It is important to keep in mind that Google+ is an extremely popular mobile application. Over 700,000 Android-powered smart phones are activated daily which include complimentary Google+ accounts. Google+ has grown by about 40% for US non-mobile traffic in each of the primary metrics that shows website performance. In December, Google+ reached a new high of 20 million unique visitors (considered to be the primary indicator of popularity), 50 million visits, and 200 million Page Views. Below you can see the graph depicting the past months of Unique Visitor and Page View growth since its implementation on June 28th:
It is now safe to say that Google+ is becoming an enormous success, with nearly half of the unique visitors of Twitter (40,411,065 unique visitors in December). With a steep upward trend and knowledge of the power behind a Google product, expect continued growth from the unequaled search engine’s social platform known for ingenuity, creativity, and revolutionary product offerings.
Do you think founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page would have ever predicted that their experiment as PhD candidates at Stanford would have turned into a social platform? If you think the answer is yes, then what about personalized search based on individual preferences social interactions? Google is now able to do personalized search, which is sure to evolve with the social platform that the company has built. Google is merging social and search to create an intuitive search engine that can literally predict what you will be looking for. The feature is called ‘Your World’ and could effectively change search forever (again). Users are now able to toggle in between the Your World function and the ‘normal’ Google search functionality. This important step towards combination of search and social is absolutely a result of the power of social networks and their increasing popularity on the web. Google, it appears, wants a piece of that very large advertising pie.
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