Google+ Poised To Become Number Two Network In 12 Months According To Survey

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.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Facebook | Google: Google+ | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Michael Martinez

    More statistics. So now we’ll be treated to a war of stats in the media over whether Google+ is growing or dying.

  • S.B.

    This survey result is based on a sample size of 1,003 people from the US and who are members of a panel of people who YHouGov uses for their survey. Too much bias in this sample for me.

  • S.E.

    The battle of facebook and google is more like Apple OS and Android.

    But, the case with google + is that it is not providing something drastically new. A big brand can for sure attract a lot of people. But to sustain them, like what Facebook did, is a tough ask. Let’s see what the future holds for these 2 giants.

  • Ian Williams

    “30% of Facebook users who already use Google+ plan on cutting down time spent on Facebook this year”

    I’ve been *planning* on cutting down my Facebook time for years…

  • Greg Sterling

    I’m in agreement that we can’t use this survey as much more than a provocative discussion starter. As I indicate above, what people say and what they do are often quite different.

  • John

    I agree the survey can only provide the barest insight to let us speculate on. I also think Google+ has the potential for staying power. Google needs to keep improving it though.

    Even for speculation I think the idea that the survey suggests it can get to #2 is way to far a stretch. What user engagement is now doesn’t tell us much about 6 months from now I don’t think. It is a good sign for Google, but they need to keep that up, which isn’t certain at all, as Google+ audience grows.

  • Shawn

    The way things are looking for Google + I do believe that it is possible for them to become the #2 biggest social network within a years time. While at the same time, it is really hard to tell even if Google + will be that successful, it is just too early to tell for the Companies new venture.

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