With Google+ about to turn a year old tomorrow, Google’s VP Vic Gundotra updated the world — or at least the 6,000 or so attendees at the Google I/O developers conference — on how the service is doing.
It’s always a bit tricky when hearing Google share usage statistics about Google+, because the company doesn’t typically measure activity only on Google+ itself — it talks about how Google+ account holders use all of Google’s products.
But at I/O today, Gundotra did share one statistic specific to the Google+ platform when he announced that active users spend 12 minutes per day “in the stream.” Google says that’s up from nine minutes just three months ago.
The decision to share such a Google+-specific number may be in reply to the “Google+ is a ghost town” meme that circulated earlier this year after reports that Google+ users spent only three minutes per month on the site. Gundotra painted a different picture today, saying that photographers, astronomers and countless other groups have been increasingly using Google+.
Gundotra also revealed that mobile usage of Google+ has surpassed desktop usage.
But Google’s semi-obfuscation of Google+ usage continued with some of the other statistics that Gundotra shared:
- More than 250 million people have upgraded to Google+ accounts (keep in mind that Google has been forcing all new users into G+ accounts since January)
- 150 million monthly active users
- 50 percent of those active users sign in daily
- They spend more than an hour “across Google.”
That last item makes it difficult to measure Google+ activity — the company counts Google+ as a “social layer” and measures how users with Google+ accounts use all Google products, from YouTube to Docs to search and more.
Still, having Google share a specific number about minutes spent “in the stream” is a welcome step toward understanding how the service is growing.