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.
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.