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Google+ is now out of beta, most accounts are already inactive

Google+ on iPhone image by Charlie Wollborg.

Google Plus out of beta, what now?

We recently reported that Google+ has reached 18 million users, making it the fastest growing social network in history and at July’s growth rate of 763,000 new users signing up every day, Google Plus would only take four to five months to reach 100 million users.

Now we’re approaching the second month of Google+ and despite its meteoric rise, Bime Analytics polled over 10 million Google+ users and discovered that a shocking 83% of accounts were classified as inactive. We question the methodology of the reporting, but we have also found that many people we are connected with haven’t ever updated or have gone inactive.

Some analysts are already predicting the demise of the social network, but we take a more conservative view, noting that all social networks are dominated by a small portion of users that make the most noise and that a large portion of all social media use is people silently lurking without ever speaking up.

We also assert that social networks are often subject to “shiny object syndrome” where coders, technologists and other types of geeks rush to claim their profiles, poke around a bit, push a few buttons, get set up, then forget the toy exists because they’ve moved on to the next shiny object syndrome. Google+ is not unique in that it is certainly subject to the tech industry’s common “shiny object syndrome.”

So who is actually using Google+?

But what about people who have actually adopted Google+, who are they and what are they doing? Amazingly, there has already been a shift in user population. In July, the majority of users classified themselves as engineers and now, the broadest demographic is students. Would it have been students all along if the network launched during a school year rather than on the precipice of summer break? It is possible. Secondarily, we would note that over the last thirty days, the network has become dramatically more diverse regarding profession, which is a good thing for real estate professionals looking to connect with a range of buyers and sellers.

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Regarding demographics, Google+ still leans toward male users, with 70% of users claiming to be male, which is roughly where it has been since the social network launched. It is no shock, given that much of the early adoptive crowd works in the technology and engineering fields, which are male dominated, so the network is likely to follow. That said, just like a gold rush of users that end up being inactive, Twitter went through this skewed demographics in their early days as well. This too shall pass- eventually this will be more evenly split between men and women.

The good news for U.S. users is that the majority of people using Google+ are in America which improves your chances of connecting with consumers that are potentially legitimate clients, whereas only 30% of all Twitter accounts are inside the U.S.

The bottom line is that Google+ is just like any other social network in that it is experiencing growing pains and over the next few months, it will continue to grow and as it becomes more mainstream and less the blogger-media darling, it will level out as to who its demographic truly is, but for now, there is no way to tell as it expands and contracts on the path to being well established.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Sheila Rasak

    August 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Please do not burst my tech bubble so soon…Let's Hangout and discuss the gazillions of possibilities! 😉

  2. Matt Stigliano

    August 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Consider me inactive. I poked and prodded and found it a little boring. I wanted to like it, I just didn't.

  3. Matthew Rathbun

    August 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Does anyone have the numbers on the early days of Facebook? I wonder if the users would have hung with it, had they not already had so much invested in Facebook…

  4. Andre

    August 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    The majority of inactive accounts are that way because those users don't have friends and family members using Google+. So they visit, only to find that there's no content and then go back to Facebook.

    Social networks only work if there's social content. You need people to bring their community over to Google+ with them to make that happen.

    Google has some work cut out to bring over the grandma, grandpa, mom and dad to Google+. To encourage people to bring their friends. It's going to happen, but it won't happen overnight. It's probably going to take a lot of resources.

    But make no mistake, this is a battle that Google is not prepared to lose and they will throw everything they have at this to make it work. Don't second guess what they can do. 🙂

  5. Scott Harris

    August 22, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Already, too much spam from social media gurus. I’m losing interest quickly.

  6. BawldGuy

    August 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Already been shown uses that boggle the mind. Stay tuned.

  7. Matt

    August 27, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Google+ IS still in beta :/

    Many accounts are not being used becaues everyone else is using facebook, so people are not finding social content on their page. I am getting by using Google+ cause a small percentage of my friends just happen to be using Google+
    Me and my friends are trying to push Google+ as it will only grow if people flock to it. Luckly for Google, it already have celbs joning to social platform. You gotta begin somewhere anyways, and considering how big Google+ has already gotten, I would say it will go far, very far.

    Also, many people are also very use to the way facebook is used, so they don't really want to jump into Google+ right now. There is also the issue of not just social based content, but games as well. My mother and a lot of other people I know will continue to stick to facebook just because it has FarmVille, which Google+ current does not have.

  8. Derek

    October 28, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Google needs to buy Twitter and force all the twitter account into Google Plus somehow. If they keep on integrating things such as YouTube, Gmail, and Search into Plus then people will be forced to use it without even knowing it 😛 Use all there resources to advertise advertise advertise!

    On another note…I'm surprised that Microsoft hasn't tried to get a bite of this market, anyone remember Windows Live Spaces? 😛 Imagine if there was a partnership between Facebook and Microsoft then what would Google do??? Google would then have to make there own operating system in order to compete…I think they are actually working on that as I type this.

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