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Will Google+ be the Second Biggest Social Network in 12 Months?

Hype and fad are terms that are kicked around as buzz about the latest trend hits the media and the social networks.Will Google+ be the Second Biggest Social Network in 12 Months

Questions are asked …..will the trend in killer high heels last one summer or two, will the fad to wear low hanging jeans become adopted by baby boomers (I wouldn’t like to see that), are tablets about to replace laptops and is the hardcover book about to become a souvenir reserved for the coffee table?

The answers to these billion dollar questions affects and disrupts industries sometimes for months, years or maybe forever. Nokia is fighting for survival after dominating its industry because it ignored a trend for to long. The once dominant Borders bookstore is closing its doors because carrying tens of thousands of printed books in bricks and mortar stores with expensive rented real estate and is a business model that doesn’t work anymore.

Google+ Moves to “Kids and Cabernet” Users

Adoption cycles, trends and innovation are what drives our modern economies and predicting when to join or leave a Hype cycle can be the difference between a winner and a loser.

Hitwise an online competitive intelligence company has found according to its research that the sequential adoption of Google+ has moved beyond the initial innovators and early adopters stage according to Everett Rogers “Diffusion of Innovation” model and is now being adopted by “early mainstream users”

Some of these new Google+ users can be categorized as the  “Kids and Cabernet” segment and are described as “Prosperous, middle aged married couples living child focused lives in affluent suburbs

Here is the word cloud describing their lives!

Kids and cabernet Google plus

Do you like the words, Sport car – upper premium, Hybrid, Theme parks, exercise at private club and cycling? (Just keep those words in mind next time you are playing in the Google+ ecosystem)

Google+ Users are Creating more Content than Twitter Users

You Gov recently announced the results of a survey done jointly with Bloomberg which examined the social media trends and usage one month after the launch of the Google+ network and here are some of the results

  • 13% of US adult internet users have signed up for a Google+ account
  • 9% plan to sign up in the next 12 months
  • 45% read content once a day or more (only Facebook is higher at 62%)
  • 46% of Google+ users report creating content at least once a week (this is on par with Twitter at 42%)

It must be noted that many social networks  have members checking in less than once a month!

How Will Google+ Impact Facebook and Twitter?

Google+ became the fastest growing social network reaching 25 million users in less than one month (Twitter took 780 days to reach 10 million users and Facebook reached that number in 852 days).

So with that growth the question of the impact on the other major networks does need to be asked.

According to this research Google+ is well placed  to become the second largest network within 12 months and is likely to negatively impact Facebook with 30% of Facebook users who already use Google+ plan on cutting down the time spent on Facebook this year.

Google plus and Facebook

What is not factored into these surveys yet is the impact of two key factors

  1. Google+ games (which have just been announced and are now live)
  2. The imminent arrival of the Google+ for business and brands (the equivalent of Facebook’s pages)

Both these two vital synergistic  elements had a major impact on Facebook growth and engagement when they were introduced.

I think the predictions for Google+ are conservative and will be exceeded because of the impact of the games and Google+ for the enterprise.

What do you think? Will Google+ pass Twitter and LinkedIn in the next 12 months?

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Image by KEXINO

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • John Wilkerson

    The great thing about new technology and rollouts in the web world is that we get so many. I tend to take a more measured approach and like to register my user names early but wait and see what will really happen.

    Personally my time can be better spent developing already existing methods and let the people wanting to plow the road go ahead the do the dirty work for me. Once they have decided to use the rollout or technology and it becomes a viable means for marketing, then I will jump in and play in the already established environment.

  • yup…its nice to have some numbers but my gut is telling me G+ will bury Facebook. Its time. FB has been “it” for about 5 years and thats about the average lifespan of a social network.

    All great civilizations expire.

    I thought FB wouldnt go the way of Friendster, myspace, Roman Empire and Dodo Bird, but alas, all things come to an end 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Think so that google+ will be the biggest social networking site. As it has many features specially for SEO by which using one can get better results. And with social site google plus has provide business platform separately and this will be more helpful to small businesses and also to beginners. And now with spark feature people can get the quality information or content.
    article submission service

  • Hi Jeff, I’m absolutely sure, that these numbers are more than conservative… my prediction is it will ne the second biggest social network within the next 3 to six months, depending on how fast Google+ will implement the Games and Business offers …

  • Jeff, thanks for the great information.  My answer is yes, assuming G+ does everything that it could do, opens its API for innovation, and works hard to be the open platform.  It clearly has a lot of benefits and seeing how it leverages the rest of its properties will be fun to watch and participate in.  I still like the twitter feed, as it forces people to be concise, but if Google ever had a short-summary field and an ability to skim posts for interesting content, I would just do it all in G+.  LinkedIn is great for business, so it will be interesting to see how G+ takes on those features as well.

    Scott Maxwell
    OpenView Venture Partners

  • Loved the article, Mr. Bullas. To answer the question, well, my answer to the question at least…Yes, G+ will most definitely be the second biggest social network in a year. ( With major potential on becoming the first biggest shortly after that.) I say that based on this factor alone: The beginning of a fresh school year!!! I haven’t seen it en masse in any of ” my ” circles YET, but if/when the teenagers embrace G+ with the equal intensity and focus that they bring to their Facebook accounts, it’s destined to be an explosion. G+ is the answer to the future of social networking that a lot of people have been longing for. When I first got invited and logged in I’ll admit…I totally didn’t get it. Then I slowed down a bit and checked out the features and how they all fit together and I noticed something: It’s classy and filled with finesse. And I think the whole ” invite ” thing has played a major role in all of that. It’s almost like a Red Carpet event per se where the only way you can even get in is via invitation. They should keep that element in play or modify it to where even via invitation one can’t get in until/unless everyone in an entire circle approves of that person’s character. Keeps it classy and SAFE to network on.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really unsure about how Google+ will go in the next 12 months. Firstly I don’t know enough about it although I am signed up for it. For me not enough of my friends are using it therefore I don’t know about usability and whether it is better than the incumbents.

    There is a danger that Google+ will be ignored by users because we have so many options about how to share our online lives with people. Just as advertising blindness is affecting how we view advertisements we will soon turn away from new forms of social sharing unless it provides a substantially better experience than what we currently use.

    Google doesn’t have the best track record with social media, can they make this work? Like a successful brand if it provides me with kick ass service that outperforms the competition then yeah I’ll give it a good go.


  • It’s hard to say.  There has been a lot of talk about Google+ being a potential “Facebook killer” but I don’t see that being the case.  Instead, I see it potentially being more of a “Twitter killer”.  Sharing on Google+ is much more similar to sharing on Twitter than it is on Facebook.  Facebook is still a place that people tend to keep their information private.  They are more open on Twitter and Google+.  I think that once businesses can have brand pages on Google+ we’ll get a better sense of which will come out on top.  

  • My guess is G+ will breeze right past LinkedIn and surpass twitter within 12 months. While I enjoy twitter, too many people ‘don’t know how to use it’ (despite the fact that it is profoundly simple). G+ looks to possess the best of FB and Twitter, once the crowd is all there.

  • John Young

    My view is that all the commentators are underestimating how quickly G+ will be the dominant social media channel.   

    Facebook’s origins in the teens and 20s will always handicap its chances of becoming dominant in the professional and corporate sectors.

    The circles paradigm in G+ fits incredibly well with the needs of users in the corporate and professional sectors.   I dont want to “like” a business,  but will be keen to be seen to have other businesses that I respect in my circle of business.

    And then the level of integration with a total environment of tools I need – Gmail, Maps, Docs, Apps, Calendar – Google has dominated my think for 5 years now,  ever since I got onto Google Mail.  Thos guys understanding how to help people run businesses in a distributed, virtual, cloudy world!

    John Young

  • Marco Pontoni

    I don’t know, but I think since it is happening so fast, it could well be earlier than that.

  • Anonymous

    It will go pass Linked In – but so what, it has a different
    focus as LI has something none of the others have – depth.

    Twitter again does what twitter does as facebook does what facebook does. FB
    has been able to see thru G+ what people wanted as G+ had to show their hand
    when opening up and suggesting they could do things better than FB.

    It’s the fastest growing as you know because things are different now so no
    comparison to the others can really be made.

    One thing I feel though is – absolutely no real time buzz about it, nobody
    saying  wow  you should be over here, or even general chitter chatter
    now that it’s fully open. This may well change over time and surely it will
    rise to be competitive but then again.

    To be honest i care less about people wondering about  whether it will hit
    high, similar to myth and hype around Klout.

    Real people, relationships and interaction are far more important and if they
    are done using this platform so be it, it and ll the rest have no myth, mystery
    or magic.

    They should be used where relevant to be mroe effective when we communicate
    simple as that.

  • David Bouniol

    A funny video from Wydif.com about the rise of Google+, starring other social networks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmXTW8nqM0A

  • Java-social

    Google Play is certainly a clear indicator, G+ and Google are taking (Social) Games seriously

  • Nancy Driscoll

    Google+ has also teamed with Intuit to encourage small businesses to get online. They provided a great day-long workshop I attended in Charlotte which included training and free web hosting for a year. Interestingly, the majority of the audience was baby boomers like me. Not sure if that’s because the Gen X or Y groups already have a business online – or know how to get them online – or because boomers are the demographic ready to create new businesses as an encore career. Clearly Google+ wants to be the go-to plan for small business. I’ll be using their resources for BoomerNewsNet.com.