Let’s first dive into some statistics. I don’t want you to go through half this article being skeptical about what I’m going to say about Google+. Shareaholic did a report in March 2014 on effectiveness of Social Media on various levels such as “Average time spent on the site”, “Average pages visited per visit”, and “Average Bounce Rate” for visitors on YouTube, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Here are the results:
For a more detailed look, please visit: http://cdn1.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2014/03/Social-Referrals-That-Matter-Mar-2014.png
So what does this tell us? First and foremost, Google+ visitors spend an average of 188.54 seconds on the site as compared to 127.44 seconds on Facebook. I’m guessing two reasons…one, there is a lot of interesting content and two, people love to spend time on the site.
Secondly, Google+ visitors go to 2.54 pages per visit as compared to 2.03 pages per visit on Facebook. Again, that means interesting stuff to read, more people to visit, and more things to do on Google+ than on Facebook.
Lastly, Google+ visitors ‘bounce’ only about 50% compared to 56% on Facebook. For the uninitiated, this statistic is a scary one. The higher it is, the more boring your website is. A visitor to a website is said to have ‘bounced’ when he or she leaves the site as soon as he or she has visited only one page. It is a ‘kiss of death’ for websites to have a high bounce rate. As you can see, Facebook has a higher ‘bounce’ rate than Google+. That means a visitor leaves Facebook much faster than he or she does Google+ and that is a good thing.
So although YouTube is the champ coming in first, Google+ is right now the second best social site in the world. But if you really think about it, YouTube is not really a Social Media site in the strictest sense. It is more an entertainment website. So if we were to eliminate YouTube from the list, the uncrowned king of social media will be Google+. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Yes, it is.
Another interesting fact that is not really evident just by a quick glance at the social media sites is the Google+ is not like Facebook at all. It is more like LinkedIn than like Facebook. It has more serious users as compared to the more immature members (except for people like me. LOL) on Facebook.
On June 20, 2013, RealWire.com said, “Sharing of online content by users on the Google+ social network is set to surpass sharing by Facebook users by February 2016 according to a new US study from search and social analytics specialist, Searchmetrics. The forecast comes in the run up to the 2nd anniversary of the introduction of Google+ which was first announced at the end of June 2011.” The blog goes on to say: ” “While it still has a relatively small base, Google+ activity and users are growing at an insane speed. And the unthinkable is possible – in terms of the important area of sharing activity at least, our data shows it could actually catch up with Facebook if the trend continues,” explains Tober, whose company maintains a global database of data collated from social networks and search engines which it uses to power its analytics software for search and social marketers.”
To end, here’s an excerpt from SocialMediaToday.com that says it all:
Will G+ overtake Facebook? If we’re looking at sheer numbers, it’s very possibly that by 2016 (or earlier), G+ will statistically overtake the mega social network of Facebook. Fast growth is certainly in Google’s favor, and the resources at this companies disposal makes almost any goal they decide to set attainable.
Is G+ the future of social media? According to QUARTZ, “Google sincerely thinks that Google+ is the future of Google.” Unlike other social media platforms, Google isn’t solely dependent on social media to grow. Says QUARTZ, “Google is turning into a platform on which the rest of Google’s web service are evolving—something that has the effect of making people use Google+ by default.”
G+ is gearing up to be HUGE. QUARTZ reports that “in a revealing interview with the Indian business newspaper Mint, Steve Grove, a Google+ exec who inks deals with content providers and influential figures, makes it clear that this is just the beginning. Grove tells Mint that ‘the reason for that is that Google+ is kind of like the next version of Google’.”
There is no doubt that the future will be an adventurous battle for control of the number one spot in social media. Will Google Plus overtake Facebook and claim the spot? Time will tell.