A Bloomberg-YouGov survey of 1,003 online adults found that Google+ is on a trajectory to surpass other social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. YouGov projects that Google+ will become the number two network after Facebook, “in the next year.”
The survey also suggests that Google+ will likely chip away at Facebook usage and engagement:
As Google+ gains followers, it is likely to negatively impact Facebook usage. 30% of Facebook users who already use Google+ plan on cutting down time spent on Facebook this year.
Taking a step back, no survey can reliably predict the future. Very often attitudes expressed in surveys are quite different than behavior turns out to be. Accordingly we should be cautious about drawing conclusions about the fates of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, at the hands of Google+, from this single survey.
Source: YouGov (8/11)
The findings are interesting, however, and suggest that Google+ has staying power (as many, including we, have already argued). One of the reasons is the high engagement rates among existing members:
- 45% of users report reading content once a day or more (only Facebook’s 62% is higher among social networks)
- 46% of Google+ users report creating content (e.g., creating updates; posting links) at least once a week. This is on par with Twitter (42%) – which focuses on easy content creation
Yet the survey also found a high “abandonment rate” for Google+, reflecting that “31% of early joiners report having abandoned Google+ accounts or have not yet created any content on it.”
Echoing earlier demographic data released by Hitwise and comScore, YouGov found that the network’s core early base “is young, educated, single men who are heavy internet users.” From this core audience, now at 25 million globally, YouGov predicted that within a year Google+ would grow to surpass other social networks in the US:
As an estimated 16 MM US online adults plan to join Google+ in the next year – substantially higher than any other social network – it is positioned to surpass Myspace, Twitter, and LinkedIn in US membership.
Source: YouGov (8/11)
Putting side the now-moribund MySpace, my view is that Twitter and possibly LinkedIn (in terms of engagement and frequency) have the most to lose if Google+ continues to grow as it has been early on.