Google+ and 'ghost town' are a contradiction

After the release of the most recent comScore Media Metrix data, any assertion that Google+ is a "ghost town" can be promptly dismissed. Not only is Google's new social network more popular than ever, its number of unique visitors topped more than 110 million each month, and the data doesn’t even take into account tablet or mobile phone usage.

The comScore data reveals that the number of monthly U.S. Google+ unique visitors increased from 15.229 million in November 2011 to 27.732 million in June 2012. Over a seven-month period, the social network has seen an increase of 82 percent on the number of unique visitors. To put it into perspective, 27.732 million is 12.53 percent of the total U.S. unique visitors.

The increase isn't only in the United States, either, as worldwide comScore data shows that Google+ popularity is growing as well, up from 66.756 million in November 2011 to 110.720 million in June 2012. There is a 66 percent increase over the same seven month period. Ghost Town? I think not.

Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra said at Google I/O that there are 250 million Google+ users with 150 million of them active each month. Furthermore, he added, half of the monthly active users are indeed active every single day and that "We have more people using Google+ from mobile than desktops." A not-so-subtle jab at principal social competitor Facebook, who is still regarded as unable to properly monetize its mobile presence.

comScore data shows that the 110.720 million unique visitors in June 2012 is indeed lower compared to the 150 million users that Vic Gundotra mentioned at Google I/O, but there is no real comparison between the two as the number of unique visitors don’t take into account mobile phone and tablet access, which can’t be ignored especially considering the claim of more mobile than desktop users using Google+.

A different set of data comes from Compete which posts an ever higher number of Google+ unique visitors than comScore; Compete claims that the social network had 31.886 million unique visitors in June 2012, a 9.6 million growth in just a month translating into a 43.08 percent increase from May to June. 13.355 million unique visitors accessed Google+ in November 2011; the number is surprisingly 2 million unique visitors lower than the numbers provided by comScore over the same month. The numbers don’t always reflect the real facts and we have to take them with a grain of salt and consider them as a reference point. The variation can be attributed to the way both companies count the number of unique monthly visitors, making it the most plausible scenario.

78 percent of Google+ users are satisfied with the social network and I have to say that I am among that percentage. Furthermore, the sheer volume of visitors worldwide would disagree with the assumption that Google+ is a ghost town. One hundred and ten million is close in number to the population of Mexico, which ranks 11th in size worldwide. If it's a ghost town, it's the most densely populated ghost town I've ever heard of.

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