Posted November 18, 2011 4:57 pm by with 9 comments

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If you look at a graphical depiction of Google+ traffic, it’s a pretty wild ride. Kind of like a Six Flags, gravity defying roller coaster — a slow warm up, then bam! Right to the top and straight back down again, finishing with a little rock and roll.

Experian Hitwise says that Google+ just had its third best week ever, with more than 6.8 million US visits. That’s a 25% increase month-over-month. Sounds good, right? Maybe not.

The LA Times says that when you look closer, what you see are constant declines in the user base. Everyone rushed in when the doors opened to the public, then again when they released pages for businesses. But how many of those people came back?

Here’s another chart from Hitwise. Their analysis says that this is proof that Google+ is starting to retain users. Well, yes, if you don’t count those big dips in September and October.

All sites having growing pains, but Google+ seems to have had more than their share. People have been particularly hard on the new social network, which is funny given all the complaining about Facebook.

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It does seem that Google+ is doing everything right. They’re adding new functionality every week. YouTube links, Google music tie-ins and new trending topics in the sidebar. It’s less cluttered than Facebook and apparently safer than Facebook, so why aren’t people using it every day?

If you’re not using Google+, why not? And what, if anything, could make you a regular visitor?

  • I think the reason why more people are not using G+ (even though it’s better than Facebook) is because everyone is hanging out on Facebook.

    People will go where the people are.

    Facebook has become a part of our daily routine and habits are hard to break. So knowing that, unless there is some crazy situation happen, I don’t think we’ll see a fast adoption of G+ like many expected (including myself).

    But, I do think over time, people will slowly move over.

    • I agree with Stu..but I’m not sure people will actually migrate. I like some of the functionality and design of G+, but I would expect Facebook to use G+’s experience to modify their site…which already has critical mass.

    • Momentum is everything so, I agree, Stu. However, it will only take several minor stumbles or one major one to set off a faster migration.

      i think Facebook’s founder may be a loose canon, whose ego could suddenly discharge before his cooler heads around him might otherwise prevail. If that happens…watch out.

  • Well, Google understands all this. Fortunately, they’re smart enough not to get caught up in it. One thing people forget is a LOT of people already use Google…. search, Gmail, YouTube, etc. They already have a huge user base and they understand they’re in a different position than some no-name trying to build a social graph.

    This talk is very revealing =>

    At about 5:30 in, the interviewer asks them directly about the same question you’re asking above. And, they’re answer is good, I think.

    Don’t let these initial numbers fool you.

  • My opinion is that Google has not opened up its API for postings as of yet… Currently in beta.. But once they do.. Watch out..

  • joe

    I do not believe that the G + will established itself as the facebook like button…

  • I think one of the possible reason why people are not using G+ for now is, they’re satified with Facebook. They can’t leave their friends on F because some of them are not on G+ nor not gonna use it. Stu McLaren is right, G+ is better than F, everyone knows it.

  • This is some very good numbers. I remember an article about some google CEOs who didn’t have an account on Google+. It’s nice to know that they are coming back strong. I’ve got some business cards that has some themes inspired by G+.

  • Michael Cochran

    It also has much to do with how much many people already have uploaded and posted on Facebook…they don’t want to leave all that content and history behind. Not sure if it has happened yet, but an easy way to import a Facebook backup into Google+ would get me to think about an actual move…but I have SEVERAL YEARS of videos and photos as well as posts (I use Facebook more like a journal and the new timeline profile rocks for me!) so I won’t just be abandoning my history and content to jump to G+.