Facebook is still way ahead of the pack but look at the close race after that. YouTube and Twitter are neck-and-neck for active users but Twitter had the most growth over the past year.
Everytime we see one of these reports, we have to question the numbers because Google is more than just a social network. Since simply logging in to your Gmail can hook you to Google+, it’s easy to inflate the number of actual users. But GlobalWebIndex says that their numbers do represent ACTIVE users defined as “Used or contributed to in the past month.”
Okay, but still I say, what does that mean? To me, an active user on Google+ is someone who logged on to that social site and either posted, shared or read a post. Anything less is not active. Simply having an account hooked to your YouTube account is not active.
The trouble is, the whole internet is becoming so interconnected, it’s getting harder and harder to count meaningful interactions. If I “Like” a Facebook link on an article on the web, does that make me an active Facebook user? How about if I use Facebook connect to log in to Pinterest? Seems like I could be counted as an active Facebook user without ever visiting the site itself.
But let’s get back to Google+. GWI says that even though Google+ is growing, Facebook has nothing to fear. In spite of all the grumbling people do about the big F, the site is still gaining members on a regular basis. So where are the extra bodies coming from? Smaller, local social networking sites.
Look at the percent of change between Q2 and Q4 of last year, it’s pretty remarkable.
The losers? Local networks in China, Germany, South Korea and the Netherlands.
I like it. It shows that people all over the world are willing to step outside of their familiar box in favor of an international community. It truly is, a small world, after all.
Are you ready to give Google+ another try or are you one of those diehards who never left?