Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Google+ Anymore

Google+ has now been with us for one year.

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Google+ Anymore

It just seems like yesterday when it was announced.

Part of me said “not another social network” while the other curious Jeff thought “this could be what we need to keep Facebook honest

12 months later it appears that it is now the third largest social network in the English speaking world behind Twitter and of course Facebook.

What a lot of  people don’t realize as cocooned westerners is that we don’t have a monopoly on successful social networks with Sina Weibo in China having over  300 million users with over 100 million messages being posted every day.

It does appear though that it is now possible that Google+ will be knocking on Facebook’s door within a couple years.

Google+ Hits 250 Million Users

The actual hard numbers that Google+ has just announced at the I/O conference is that in just one year it has grown from zero to 250 million plus users. That is growth in anyone’s language.

What are some of the other facts, figures and statistics that are worth noting.

  • 150 million monthly users
  • 75 million daily users
  • Google+ active users spend over 60 minutes a day across Google products
  • Google+ users spend on average 12 minutes per day in the Google+ (that is 360 minutes per month which compares very favorably to Facebooks 441 minutes per month)
  • The Google+ team shipped a new build every day for the whole year, except one Friday in August. (that is what happens when you have deep pockets with Google+ rumored to have been developed at a cost of over $500 million)

The time spent by users per month puts another face on previous reports that Google+ engagement was poor.

Other Important  Announcements

Google isn’t sitting on its hands and continues to roll out new features for Google+ and complimentary products and services.

It is worth pointing out that  Google considers Google+ not comparable to other competing social platforms because all its different products, and particularly YouTube, Gmail and Google+ really constituted a ‘social graph’- one that would create an entire Google experience.

Google sees it as “core” to its ecosystem and considers it absolutely vital to embed social interaction with its competitive advantage in search – by making search more relevant to user experience.

So what are the other key announcements?

1. Google+ Tablet

When I bought my iPhone 3 years ago it changed how I worked and played. My iPad has taken that to a new level again. The issue for a lot of  people is the price point that the Apple tablet starts at.

Google+ has announced a new tablet that will now make it possible to put an affordable tablet in everyone’s hands. The Google Nexus 7 will come in at a price point of only $199. Amazon now has a serious competitor to its Kindle Fire.

The key specifications you might like to know about.

  • 7 inch screen
  • Operating system is Android 4.1 (playfully titled “Jelly Bean”)
  • Ships with Chrome for Android for the first time
  • 1280 x 800 resolution screen
  • 8 Gb of  Memory (next model up comes with 16Gb for $249)

What is also worth noting is that Google’s Play which is Google’s online market for Android apps, movies , music and books (with currently 20 billion downloads) is out to become a serious competitor to the Apple and Amazon stores. Also announced was the new feature of being able to buy movies and not just rent them.  So watch this space, Apple and Amazon need some competition to help keep prices down!

I think I need to buy one for my Mum and Dad. Maybe I should buy it for myself first to make sure it provides a good user experience.

2. Google+ Events

I noticed when I logged on to Google+ early this morning that a light box announcing a new feature was hovering over my Google+ account page.

Google+ has made it easy to create and market your event, whether that is a party or a conference. Google+ ways it is “for before, during and after your party

It offers these highlights.

  • 24 cinemagraphic themes (animated themes to show pictures to your invited guests)
  • You can invite anyone even if they are not on Google+ (by using their email)
  • Events are integrated into your Google calendar with a photo of the host
  • Your Google+ event guests can then be emailed to upload photos from the event
  • Google+ can aggregate all the photos from tyhe event in chronlogical order on a special page

Here is how to create an event.

It looks like it could be a stand out feature similar to the impact of Google+ “hangouts”

3. Google+ for iPad is Coming

Some of you may have been using Google+ on your iPad and it certainly needed a grownup version for the iPad. Google+ is promising that it isn’t far away.

The app is promising to be much better visually organised, so posts with more engagement are larger, and you scroll sideways to browse content.

What About You?

Will you buy a Nexus 7 tablet?  Is Google+ a social network that you should pay more attention to?

Would you consider using Google+ for your next event?

Look forward to your feedback and stories.

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Comments

  • http://www.indivly.com/ John Clark

    I would add the sleeping dragon Google Hangouts (on air came out in May) which would make our next event live to the world with live comments, great for scaling any event. Anyone else broadcasting since On Air?

  • mark z

    lets see, as of tonight you have 199 tweets, 67 linkedin shares, 33 facebook “activity” things (likes + shares), and in last place 20 google+ shares (likely skewed since, well, it’s about the platform). I will keep ignoring it, thx.

    • Fernando Ribeiro

      FB needs a high profile competitor, so, if you like FB and want it to keep improving, it’d be a good idea to not ignore Google +, even if you don’t engage a lot.

    • Clayton Pritchard

      I don’t see any reason to share something on G+ telling people why they should be using G+. They are already there an active. They know that they should be using it.

    • Mingzhang Yang

      Lets see again.

    • http://www.theageoftheplatform.com/ Phil Simon

      Yes. To me, those very numbers illustrate that it’s a distant third.

  • petertaueki

    I totally agree that Google+ is something that people will now have to stop watching from the sidelines and become actively involved in. What I think is also another interesting feature of Google+ is the “Locals” tab – which is directly relevant to any stores with a physical location as it is directly synced with Google and Google+. The “locals” tab allows for users to review not only brands, but specific stores within each brand on their various features: i.e. “Quality” “Service” “Appeal”.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the insight on that “Locals” tab. Localisation in marketing will become big over time aided by mobile.

  • http://brittinspired.com Brittany Rubinstein

    “Google considers Google+ not comparable to other competing social platforms because all its different products, and particularly YouTube, Gmail and Google+ really constituted a ‘social graph’- one that would create an entire Google experience.”

    See that’s where I sorta disagree. For the average user, it is VERY comparable to other social platforms, namely Facebook. That’s why they don’t use it. They don’t care about the “social graph” because to them YouTube, Gmail, G+ are all completely separate products.

    I do agree though that there’s a lot of untapped opportunities that need to be taken advantage of in Google+. At least for those who use social media for more than just socializing with friends. I myself should be using it more than I should, but I think I’m still kind of in that “not another social network” phase. It’s a time issue.

    Thanks for the informative post!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Yes, the average user does not want to spend time on another social network!.

    • Ross Quintana

      Brittany, I think you hit on a point. Until Google+ integrates more with their other products it will be seen as just another social platform. Just because you can do something with a platform doesn’t mean it is cool, you have to make it cool and integrate it in a way that makes people say wow.

  • LindaAW

    Good morning Jeff!

    I just love ‘Maybe I should just buy it for myself first..’. Any excuse looks to be a good one with this!

    I’m an absolute technophobe, but even I might give this a go. It looks simple enough for even me to understand what to do with it too!

    Thank you for the informative and enticing introduction to this product.
    Kind regards,
    L

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      The video sure makes it look tempting!

  • Ian Tindal

    I was in G+ from first beta and used it until about 6 weeks ago. After making some public posts I got fed up with all the notifications of people adding me to circles, some had over 1000 members, it escalated rapidly, most of the discourse seemed to be commercial – pushing products/events I had no interest in. I did not add many people back to my circles but had a constant stream, 20+ a day, of notifications as to who had added me to their circles. Unless you are commercial I really recommend not making any public posts and keeping tight limits on who can see your posts. I don’t feel I have lost anything since leaving FB and G+ in fact I have gained real world time.

  • http://twitter.com/murrayrjr murrayjr

    Jeff, I like your stuff but lately you seem to be trying to promote Google+. Like I said on a previous post, Google+ may work when you are looking nationally, (I have no experience with national campaigns) but if you are trying to reach and connect with people in discrete metro area about Food, Music, etc… it isn’t effective when compared to Facebook. It seems like a lot of people are going out of their way to find positive stuff about Google+. I do see the potential, but for me and others in my industry who I’ve talked to, Google+ doesn’t give enough ROI to divert resources from Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the comment. I still devote more resources to Twitter. It can’t be ignored because it is a Google (it is becoming important to be there because of social signals for SEO) and also the numbers of users are much larger now. I am playing with it more to see if the ROI for me as a marketer and a blogger are there. It is essentially a purer social network that people are still trying to work out if it drives traffic and sales.

  • http://twitter.com/murrayrjr murrayjr

    I should’ve given an example on my previous post. I’ll do one here. We
    have had a restaurant owner come to us and say, we really want to try
    and fill up the place for “x” event. In that instance we are going to
    hit every platform. For something like that, we will generate the most
    response from Twitter with Facebook 2nd. We get almost nothing from
    Google+. 2nd example, we want people to vote on a particular thing. We
    hit all the platforms and Twitter will generate the most engagement with
    Facebook 2nd and Google+ again next to nothing. Company comes to us
    wanting to get people to sign up for their program. Same story as above
    except flip Facebook and Twitter. Google+ next to nothing. It may be us
    and the way we approach it, but we have tried.

  • Clayton Pritchard

    I definitely think Google+ cannot be ignored. I see it as being able to be your only social media network. It has the best parts of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with a lot of Googly awesomeness mixed in. Every update is a good one too and legitimately makes it better unlike Facebook with it’s updates that are increasingly angering the users (especially the recent @facebook.com email scandal).

  • http://BasicBlogTips.com Ileane

    The events feature is perfect for inviting people to Google Hangouts on Air! This will improve the number of people watching your live broadcast – which you can live stream on Facebook with a Lujure App. So you can invite your Facebook tribe and your Google+ tribe – oh yeah you can live stream from your blog too. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/deborah.hymes Deborah Hymes

      Hi Ileane, I agree that Google+ has tremendous potential for improving our “social lives!” However, Google apparently has *zero* interest in training/educating people on how to use it well and robustly. And as a result, it remains “just another social network.” It’s frustrating!

  • http://www.facebook.com/deborah.hymes Deborah Hymes

    Hi Jeff! Thanks for this post. Like you, I was glad when Google+ launched, and for exactly the same reasons. And the feature that appealed to me most was “Circles.” What a great, easy way to create true community around shared interests!

    However, I’m not user. Why? Because Google has done a poor (read “non-existent”) job of helping users understand G+’s unique value proposition and teaching them how to use it robustly.

    As a result, people look at G+ as “just another social network” and, to the extent that they post at all, they simply repost all of their Facebook content. Which I’m already seeing on FB, so why bother?

    So, at the end of the day, G+ *really is* just another social network. Frankly, I think Google fiddles with the numbers they release. They think if they keep claiming that it’s the #3 social network, then it’s in the running for #1. But the reality is, the only people whom I know for a fact actually USE G+ (vs merely having a latent profile there, as I do) are Google-ers. So, either FB and Twitter really don’t have any close competition, or Google is highly, *highly* creative in accounting for its actual users!

    • http://twitter.com/SarahArg Sarah Argue

      I absolutely agree with your thoughts Deborah! I don’t feel like Google+ has done a good job at informing people on how to best use it for themselves or their businesses. Everything I know now I’ve really had to figure out on my own – which is in a sense true for Facebook – but Facebook seemed like it was easier to adopt and understand than what Google+ has been for me so far.

      And I’m 100% guilty of sharing the same exact content between Google+ and Twitter – so like you said, what’s the point? However, I am really trying to be a bit more active on Google+, reaching out to other biz peeps that I’m not connected to on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – really trying to use it for a more professional sharing setting than anything else. I’m really hoping the time I’m dedicating to it lately will somehow pay off for me (and the company I work for), eventually!

  • http://twitter.com/Judeontheweb Jude Widdowson

    When Google Places morphed into Google Plus Local I realised that it doesn’t matter if you want to be become engaged with Google Plus or not…Google has the power to ‘make you’.

    Google Places was the key, low cost tool to help optimise keywords for local search engines. Now, your company has moved automatically to Google Plus. Yep, there are problems in the back end…but once fixed…what can stop Google?

    When Google bought YouTube in 2005, they changed their algorithm to include YouTube videos at the top of the search…this proves that Google has the power to change their algorithm to suit any strategic initiative they have up their sleeve…which I think is to create a landing page that will integrate all social, search and internet activity.

    So…we have to make a choice…do we follow the big brother of search engines? For a company to continue to connect with their stakeholders online, I certainly will….and this is why I choose an Android over an iphone.

  • http://www.theageoftheplatform.com/ Phil Simon

    Don’t think of G+ as a separate social network; think of it as the social plank in its platform. That’s how the Google top brass thinks of it.

    Phil Simon
    http://www.theageoftheplatform.com

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/lauriedesautels lauriedesautels

    Interesting post..Why do you think it has been ignored? There are a ton of articles and bad press over Google Plus. Tomorrow marks my one year anniversary on their site. Considering it has only been out of beta for 7-8 months. Google Plus is doing a fabulous job. It takes time fo be the next “it” network. Any early adopter can relate to that.
    Laurie DesAutels

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      People get very attached to their social networks so there almost seems there are Facebook tribes and Google+ tribes devloping. Both have their strengths.

  • George Leite

    Is a 7″ tablet enough when the 10″ pad is still the biggest selling?

  • Tom Hermans

    I agree partly. The average user has not, for example, experienced the extreme handiness of sharing pictures taken with your phone, instantly available through instant upload and the easiness of sharing to certain circles or people, people that aren’t even on G+.. Add to that, the absolute awesome mobile app for phone and tablet and the complete lack of respect of FB in this and other areas.. Don’t dismiss G+, it’s more than a social network and it works better. Just not everybody is aware of it.. or their friends keep playing farmville on FB….

  • FreddieFulton

    I would say yes to your question on the nexus 7. I bought a cheaper 7 inch tablet recently with Android to fool around with and it is great! Especially if you use google products like gmail, Google+ etc. It is all integrated into Android. So I can see me getting the Nexus at $200.
    Also I would say yes we need to pay more attention now to google+.
    Good article Jeff

  • professional copywriting

    Google+ just keeps on getting bigger and more useful. Adding new features like Google+ Events is making it more competitive with Facebook, while also providing real SEO benefits to business users. Because Google earns its money from its search advertising, it can afford to continue to develop Google+ as a genuine service while other social networks are working on their advertising revenue. This may see Google+ eventually become the most practical social network.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      It is almost the most “pure” social network. It doesn’t have to monetize like the other platforms. It also Google’s stalking horse as it provides social signals that it uses to refine and personalize its core product Google search. Google sees it as being “core” and that is why it spent over $500 million on the site!

  • http://twitter.com/cINnected Franklin D Rivera II

    Very interesting article. It appears that more and more articles are being directed towards Google + these days, and rightfully so. Whereas every social platform has its majority demographic, Google + is dominated by tech savvy males and those in the visual arts. It you area marketer (visual helps drive engagement) , or trying to reach a different demographic, or trying to increase your search engine rankings, or gain more exposure across multiple platforms, or or or….Google + just makes sense. Like any unfamiliar territory, there is always going to be some resistance or “growing ” pains. But in Business, you always have to stay one step ahead, and Google + is a great place to start.

  • http://twitter.com/cINnected Franklin D Rivera II

    Very interesting article. It appears that more and more articles are being directed towards Google + these days, and rightfully so. Whereas every social platform has its majority demographic, Google + is dominated by tech savvy males and those in the visual arts. It you area marketer (visual helps drive engagement) , or trying to reach a different demographic, or trying to increase your search engine rankings, or gain more exposure across multiple platforms, or or or….Google + just makes sense. Like any unfamiliar territory, there is always going to be some resistance or “growing ” pains. But in Business, you always have to stay one step ahead, and Google + is a great place to start.

  • http://twitter.com/cINnected Franklin D Rivera II

    Very interesting article. It appears that more and more articles are being directed towards Google + these days, and rightfully so. Whereas every social platform has its majority demographic, Google + is dominated by tech savvy males and those in the visual arts. It you area marketer (visual helps drive engagement) , or trying to reach a different demographic, or trying to increase your search engine rankings, or gain more exposure across multiple platforms, or or or….Google + just makes sense. Like any unfamiliar territory, there is always going to be some resistance or “growing ” pains. But in Business, you always have to stay one step ahead, and Google + is a great place to start.

  • AHMED I. MOUSTAFA

    Jeff Bullas ★ This is a MUST-READ Blog for Social Media Savvy. Thanks for the deep yet, simple insights ★