Tech Trends – Google Plus in 2012

JohnIn February, Google Plus passed the 100 million user mark – quite the nominal feat. Just recently, Google+ Business was launched, and now companies can create their own pages on this expanding social media site. But is Google Plus really growing as rapidly as the user numbers suggest?

The Wall Street Journal published an article this week suggesting it’s not. Despite having over 100 million users, Google Plus is a virtual wasteland full of inactive profiles. The article mentions that “Visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period, according to comScore.”

I can attest to WSJ’s “ghost town” analogy. I’ve had my own Google+ account since September and have yet to make one post. Of the 11 people in my “circle” only two have posted any sort of update, and there hasn’t been one made in over two months. Google Plus has 100 million members, but few of them could really be considered users.

Analyst Paul Allen suggests that Google Plus users will exceed 400 million by the end of 2012. A number like that is hard to scoff at. The real question is whether or not those 400 milllion users will be as inactive as the present 100 million. Is it worth it to invest efforts into creating a Google+ Business page when actual user levels have been so low?

PCWorld seems to think so. They recently published a list of the 9 Ways Google+ Can Help Your Business. Within, they mention that Google+ is a must in the year of 2012. Main reasons for such a bold suggestion include the fact that your business’ Google Plus page will show up at the very top of Google search results. David Politis, founder of BetterCloud, says, “In a flat world, social tools like Google+ support fast and easy domestic and cross-border sharing [of documents, images and so on], enabling productivity at a fraction of the price of conventional meetings.”

Regardless of how little members actually use Google Plus, it would definitely be beneficial to have your business’ page at the top of Google results, especially if you want to be percieved as technologically savvy. Since much of the reason why current users don’t use Google Plus very often is a combination of unfamiliarity and the fact that more people will see posts on websites like Twitter and Facebook, increased usership by businesses could help increase personal usership.

2012 just might be the year of Google Plus.

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