When Google+ launched last summer expectations were high-impossibly high. So when it didn’t initially catch on with users I was hardly surprised. However, here we are several months later and interest in Google+ continues to severely lag behind the social media leader, Facebook. In fact, anyone with a Google+ account will attest to the limited interest G+ users seem to have in just about anything.
It’s just not happening.
A recent report shows that G+ users spend about three minutes per month on the fledgling social media network, compared with an average eight hours of use for Facebook users. Ouch! That’s not a little behind, that’s a gap that makes the Grand Canyon look narrow.
Unfortunately, there are many good reasons for this lack of interest, starting with the way it looks. Plain. I said when it launched that although I like the simplicity of the Google search page I expected something a little bit more exciting from their social media network. It also doesn’t help that the site offers little when it comes to the ability of users to make their page unique, short of changing the five photos at the top of their page.
It also doesn’t help that Google+ offers little beyond what you can do with Facebook. Do they have Hangouts? Yes. Big deal. There are Facebook apps which will let you do similar things. Their Circles feature does little beyond what Facebook has always allowed users to do. Does your Google+ page integrate nicely with the other Google products you use? Yes. But not everyone is a fan of Google so this only goes so far to attract users.
And don’t get me started on their Google+ Biz Pages. They are not much more than static blog pages with room for comments. No apps, tabs or functionality.
Now, does all this mean I am anti-Google+? No. I have a Google+ account and run several for clients. Because of this I am in a good position to notice the deficits inherent in their design. What it doesn’t help do is figure out why, months after its release, Google+ still hasn’t at least matched what can be found on Facebook, much less surpassed it.
Perhaps now that people are sitting up, taking notice and avoiding the site, Google will finally do the same and give us something we just can’t find anywhere else.
Googles’ U.S. users averaged just 3.3 minutes on the site in January, down from the previous month and a fraction of the time Facebook’s members devoted to its service, according to research firm ComScore Inc.
The average amount of time spent on Google Inc.’s social network declined from 4.8 per minutes in December and 5.1 minutes in November, Reston, Virginia-based ComScore found. Facebook’s users, meanwhile, were on its site for about 7 1/2 hours in January, up from about seven in December.
Google unveiled the social-networking service last June, aiming to keep users on its site longer and boost ad revenue. The company said last month that Google+ had topped 90 million members, more than double the amount in October. Still, its user base is dwarfed by Facebook’s 845 million-plus members.
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