A report published by GlobalWebIndex has suggested that Google+ has become the second-most popular website on the Internet when counting ‘active users’, even pushing ahead of Twitter and YouTube in this respect.
The data collected by GWI found that in relation to the ‘global web population’ over the last month, around 25% of unique users have logged into a Google+ account, second only to the above 50% that used Facebook in the same period, in what will probably be seen as a surprise high number for both websites for varying reasons.
Microblogging site Twitter was surprisingly only used by 21%, as was Google owned-video sharing hub YouTube, though these figures are defended by the fact that users are more easily able to view content on those websites (mainly ‘tweets’ and videos, respectively) without logging in (such people were not counted in the statistics).
Further down the list, it was noted that smaller sites such as LinkedIn, Myspace, Pinterest and Tumblr, all recorded under 10% of all internet users during the month. It is important to note, however, that LinkedIn (the highest of those 4) was only 10th in the percentage rankings overall, with 5 Chinese sites (including Qzone and Sina Weibo) separating them from 4th-placed Twitter, and further non-English-language sites filling gaps between LinkedIn and its compatriots.
Any fears that Twitter is struggling, however, can be put to rest with figures released detailing changes between Q2-Q4 2012, which showed Twitter to be by far the fastest-improving site by user count, rising 40% between the two measurement dates and beating out Facebook’s improvement of around 35%.
The online report published by GWI said of Facebook’s continued dominance: “Something we’re seeing in our initial findings is an return to growth for Facebook. We now estimate that Facebook has 903m accounts across 31 markets among 16-65 year olds. If we scale this up to the remaining 10% of global internet users we do not yet survey and factor in accounts for under-16s and over-65s our estimates fall in line with Facebook’s claimed 1 billion user figure. 2012 saw Facebook shrug off the potential for Facebook fatigue and saturation in a spectacular way with active users growing 33% to 693m users globally.”
It added of Google+’s surprise emergence: “Google+, who despite being branded a failure or ghost town by large portions of the media, grew in terms of active usage by 27% to 343m users to become the number 2 social platform. Interestingly for Google, YouTube (not previously tracked by us as a social platform) comes in at number 3, demonstrating the immense opportunity of linking Google’s services through the G+ social layer. This is also a key indication of why Google+ integrated with the Google product set is so key to the future of search and the internet.”
It still might not be enough to catapult Google+ into the more renowned inner circle of popular websites, but these figures certainly show that in spite of negative criticisms, the venture from the search engine giant’s social networking venture appears to be paying off with more success than some may have anticipated…