back to article Punctured Google+ leaks bored users

Google+ is struggling to retain interest from users who sign-up to the social network. Figures seen by the LA Times suggest that the number of punters using Google's service, which hooks into a person's Gmail profile and functions as a contender to Facebook, is haphazardly dialling up occasionally and down often. Hitwise told …


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  1. Rob

    They need to...

    ... create a killer facebook app that pull data across, like posts and pictures etc and get it to interact with twitter. Give it an angle like hootsuite and they could wipe out the need to access Facebook directly.

    Nobody like duplicating data especially when's that data is verbal diahorea about what you've been up to.

  2. Dale 3


    I can't really be bothered to sign up. I'm probably not the only one.

  3. GeorgeTuk

    There is just no point...

    It doesn't offer anything that Twitter, which I use to follow sports, comedians and some film stuff and Facebook for friends and LinkedIn (rarely) for business.

    Google + just doesn't offer anything new and I cannot be bothered to go through all my contacts again and catergorise them again just for Google.

    1. Keith T

      It doesn't matter how superior Esperanto is, I'm sticking with English.

      It doesn't matter how superior Esperanto is, I'm sticking with English because that is what the people I interact with use.

      It doesn't matter how good Google+ is, almost all my friends and family are on Facebook.

      Google+ is another MySpace, another Betamax.

  4. petur

    "Meanwhile, Google is very secretive about its user metrics - a fact that allows critics to assume the worst about the service."

    Does Facebook share its usage statistics?

    1. Kelly Fiveash (Written by Reg staff)


      Yes. Facebook currently claims to have 800 active million users.

      1. David 164

        Google has already share that statics, aka the number of profiles. Google claim to have 40+ million users.

        Just like Facebook it does not share the number of visits per day/week/month/year

      2. Old n Cynical

        800 million active users? Ok ,how many regular & *unique* active users - unique as in different prople?...

        Hmm... Say 50 million cats. dogs and mice with pages. 750 million then.

        Oh... 250 million accounts represent multiple account users 'other' accounts,.

        So, 500 million left.

        Let's see... How many are not regular, returning users? Say 100 million. 400 million left then,

        Now, how many cognisant users? Hmmm. 5 you say.

        Now how many have something interesting to say? ~1?

        Oh, so it's really that's 1 active user with a brain and something constructive to say then.

        1. alwarming

          You didn't have to out me like that!

          > Oh, so it's really that's 1 active user with a brain and something constructive to say then.

    2. David 164

      They do but only the impressive figure of 800million signed up users.

      What they do not share is how many of those profiles are active.

      How often they are active.

      What people do on the site.

      An all the other interesting metrics.

  5. DrXym

    Works okay I guess

    I think Google+ is a perfectly adequate replacement for Facebook. But it needs that critical mass of users that are necessary to turn it from being an idle curiosity into a place to visit all the time.

    Personally I think I prefer Diaspora which has just launched recently and is pretty neat. It too needs that critical mass but I suspect that Diaspora nodes will be appearing all over the place, internally and externally and it might find itself something of an under the radar success.

  6. Kyoraki

    Hey, here's a genius idea:

    How about a g+ api, google? Plus is failing because it's lack of integration with anything other than google products.

    1. Kelly Fiveash (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Hey, here's a genius idea:

      Google has begun the API process. Story about that here:

      1. Cico


        Well yes, but they're still read-only, not a big deal.

        If they provided *write* APIs from day one, at least they could have started getting cross-posts from apps like Tweetdeck. Still, not really a big deal... people are living in Facebook and Twitter, some cross-post to LinkedIn but I wonder who ever reads statuses on it...

        With read-only APIs people need to remember first, and then have to go there and do the post. Why bother? I guess they thought that everyone would move over because, well, because they are Google so people should be thrilled and move over. I would say they learnt nothing from Waves (bugs, too slow in delivering functionality, no killer-app, people got border instantly).

        Also: logorrhea on Twitter is somehow mitigated by the maximum number of characters limit; the few people on G+ are producing petabytes of useless babbling.

        It was good to build the launch around the "Circles" concept, but it's nothing new. It took an eye-blink from Facebook to revive their "Lists" concept and with the introduction of subscriptions, they put the last nail in the coffin.

        Now, if only Facebook would build a Feed Reader as good as Goggle's one before the new "enhancements" (sic)... but I'm not holding my breath given they just killed RSS support :(

  7. I know better

    I like Google+, mostly because I hate Facebook, most because I hate the name Facebook. Irrational, well, maybe.

    The problem is that I can't be bothered to do social media and I don't want to share my life with world+dog. So although Google+ is my platform of choice, I have nothing to say that I want others to know about and I doubt that others feel strongly enough to want me to contribute!

    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Eric Schmit is an insect.

      I don't go near anything Google-related with a barge pole. That (IM-not-so-HO) makes Facebook the lesser of two weevils.

    2. Maliciously Crafted Packet

      I thought I was alone...

      I hate the name Facebook too and because of this have avoided it. I also hate the name Twitter but have had to sign up because of work.

      I have voluntarily signed up to Google + though mainly because it has a better name and I thought it was about time I got to see what social is all about. I haven't posted anything on it as I don't have anything interesting to say, but I have added people to my circles that do and I occasionally read their posts.

    3. Keith T

      Then you should hate Google+ more than FB using your logic

      You're probably a bit out of date on FB's privacy settings, they've been reformed and enhanced a few times. They are certainly adequate for an IT professional to understand and configure, although I'm not sure about ALL of the general public.

      "I know better", you should hate Google+ more using your logic because its intent is to share even more about you, including the search results you select.

      FB does share a lot, not so much from itself, but from the websites it allows to connect to it, political comments and so on with your real name attached forever.

      The way Google is headed, Google+ will be a far greater intrusion on privacy.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use it all the time.

    Because it's not full of the cretins that invade Facebook.

    Do I care that quite a few people I know aren't on it? Nope.. Not one bit. Their loss.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Let me guess, you work at Belgrave House?

    2. Justin Clements


      You don't really understand the concept of social media, do you? It involves others.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Of course I do

        That's why I use Google+ to sociallise with like-minded people that are smart enough to judge a system on it's features rather than sheeplike just using what they know, despite it actually bering very rubbish.

        How many of those 800 million Facebook users think the IMPLEMENTATION is good? Not many.... How many would be totally freaked out by how good Google+ is? Quite a few.. Facebook/Twitter without the crap.

        1. alwarming
          Thumb Up

          Re: Of course I do

          > That's why I use Google+ to sociallise with like-minded people

          > that are smart enough to judge a system on it's features rathe

          Good luck having sex with them!

        2. Keith T

          > That's why I use Google+ to sociallise with like-minded people

          > that are smart enough to judge a system on it's features rathe

          Then I'm surprised your post wasn't in Latin.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Signal to noise ratio

      Is pretty good on Google and that might be what it needs for the long term. I think I log on a couple of times a week, mainly to check what some close friends have been up to. My home page is usually spammed by one or two people who I'd like to have as opt-in. I mainly read only friends and family which doesn't take long.

      I suspect that treating the whole thing as a neural network as opposed to a data mine, where the distance between nodes and the frequency of communication, may be the way to monetise things, albeit indirectly. Let's not forget that Google's cash flow is extremely positive so unlike "the social network" it doesn't need to worry about ROI for a while*. Filling the site full of ads would be a instant turn-off and I like to flatter myself to think that I belong to a desirable target group for advertisers, well if the ads in The Economist are anything to go by.

      * There is, of course, a whole industry with invested interest in a successful IPO for Facebook - journalists, ad execs, etc.

      1. Keith T

        signal to noise info actually very good in FB

        You can easily filter out everyone but actual people you've actually "friended" (connected to) in FB.

        We no longer get spammed by games or anything else.

        You can even filter out people you've friended for political reasons so they don't see your stuff, and you don't see their stuff.

  9. Andrew Jones 2
    Thumb Down

    Being built into ICS will probably do a lot to help - additionally when a writeable API is released so that other applications can post on your behalf - that will make a big difference.

    My biggest issues at the moment is with Pages, the only way to see if you have notifications is to "switch" to your page and click on the notifications stream. There is no automated way to post to your page - everything is manual - that's a big stumbling block.

    I have a Facebook Page for BordersWeather and a Twitter account, both post things like road condition alerts, upcoming severe weather, met office warnings and daily reports. Currently I have to copy and paste everything to Google+ which means Google+ doesn't get updated as often or as timely as twitter and facebook do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yah, if it worked for Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer with Windows.. Oh wait they were declared a monopoly weren't they?

      That said unless Google forced other manufacturers to add it in, don't think it'll have much relevance in custom builds of ICS other than the Nexus.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Google+ Meh

    Facebook Meh

    1. David 164

      Anonymous Coward Meh

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't use social networking

    Apparently it works best when you have some friends.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Google have removed the + operator in their searches, which I use(d) a lot. For this reason I hate Google+ the most, more than Facebook and Twitter combined, each of which I hate more than anything anyway. I'm not a social person.

    I really don't understand why they've done this though, why not pick something else? Anyone for Google|, or Google^ maybe?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      If they removed the + operator due to google+, how is it still available to do '5 + 8'? And if they'd named the site "google plus" they certainly wouldn't have had to remove 'plus' from the rest of their searches...

      Even if there -were- a big problem, surely they could special-case the operator appearing after "google" and deal with the consequences from there? These guys aren't idiots, you know.

      There's obviously some reason they got rid of the + operator, but I can't imagine it's due to google+.

  13. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    What's it for?

    I was an early adopter, thanks to an invitation, but I have never actually done anything with Google+, because I can't see what there is to do. As far as I can see it's basically an address book which allows you to group people in various ways. Well, whoop-de-do. Is that it?

  14. Keith T

    Allow anonymity

    The only way Google+ will get any share of FB is if it finds a way to allow anonymity in public forum posting.

    That really is my only complaint about Facebook, that so many news media sites want us to use our real names from Facebook when posting social comments.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Add to google toolbar

    why don't google release a new version of toolbar that works on recent versions of Firefox and includes a plus button.

    I make as much use of G+ as of my twitter and facebook accounts - virtually none but at least with G+ I don't (yet?) get add requests from various dorks I wish I'd never met.

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