Google+ Users Spend 3 Minutes Per Month There, ComScore Tells WSJ

google-plus-red-128With its users only spending an average of three minutes per month on the site, Google+ is a “virtual ghost town” compared to Facebook and other social networking sites. That’s how the Wall Street Journal characterizes Google’s social network while reporting new usage stats from comScore.

According to comScore, Google+ users averaged only three minutes on the site during January, a pittance compared to Facebook’s average of 405 minutes per visitor. Tumblr and Pinterest both saw 89 minutes per user on average, while LinkedIn clocked in at 17 minutes per user and Twitter at 21 minutes. The breakdown:

  • Facebook: 405 minutes
  • Pinterest/Tumblr: 89 minutes
  • Twitter: 21 minutes
  • LinkedIn: 17
  • MySpace: 8
  • Google+: 3

ComScore’s data covers desktop activity only, not mobile — an area where both Facebook and Twitter are said to have significant activity. The Twitter number only accounts for usage, ignoring usage via clients like Tweetdeck, the official Twitter client and many others.

Time-on-site is undoubtedly a better metric to use than pure user counts when comparing social networks. During Google’s latest earnings call, CEO Larry Page said Google+ has 90 million users, which would be about 10 percent of Facebook’s active userbase. But Google won’t talk about how many “active” users are on Google+, and recently changed its account creation process so that all new users have Google+ accounts by default.

There have been some positive reports recently about Google+ usage, but it seems there are an equal number of unflattering reports. Even some Google+ users — both individuals and brands — that are seeing big gains in followers/circlers are doubting the quality of those followers.

In its defense, Google’s Bradley Horowitz tells the WSJ that Google+ isn’t just a destination site like other social networks — its features are increasingly being baked in across Google products and services.

Mr. Horowitz declined to share data about how much time people spend on Google+ but said “we’re growing by every metric we care about.” A Google spokeswoman said comScore’s data is “dramatically lower” than Google’s internal data.

And one important aspect that the WSJ didn’t address is the relationship between Google+ and search. With the launch of Search Plus Your World last month, Google is showing more Google+ content than ever in its main search results.

One brand manager whose organization is active on Google+ — along with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks — recently told me that, for his organization, Google+ is all about SEO. For many, that’s reason enough to be active on Google+, even if actual usage lags far behind other social networks.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Facebook: Statistics | Features & Analysis | Google: Google+ | Social Media Marketing | Statistics: Popularity & Usage | Statistics: Social Media | Top News | Twitter: Statistics


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Boris Krumov

    Whoever doesn’t see the huge, obvious elephant in the room : G+ is boring, that’s it is.

  • Anonymous

    How long will Google keep trying to force this unwanted, ill-conceived waste of time on people? Focusing on what users want? Quite clearly not.

    How long before they become a complete laughingstock amongst their users, not just the community that should be behind them (inbound marketers/webmasters).

  • Daniel Dočekal

    Reality is, that average minutes per visit on Facebook is 22 minutes and 20 secods. Somebody made huge mistake here. 

  • IMNorth

    I think Google is trying to engage users into the social atmosphere by offering a multitude of products, services and add-ons that Facebook or Twitter isn’t. But they struggle to inform the public about them and there for users lose interest. Sure it’s easy to add and remove circles and manage relationships but its more difficult to engage users to feel the same sort of simpleness as Facebook offers.

    I doubt that Google will end Google+, it’s a matter of how they get users to engage and interact there rather then Facebook.


  • mark potter

    I spend 20-30min per day on Twitter – 80% mobile.

    I spend 10-20min per day on facebook – even mix of mobile and desktop.

    I spend 45-60min per day on Google+, and 99%+ mobile. I use huddles messenger hangout – whatever they’re calling it now – constantly.

    There’s no way you can count Google+ out of this yet. Integrating into Android phones, requiring all new Google accounts to have a G+ profile, and their integration with places local etc that is forthcoming will be big drivers of their effort to come.

  • Brandon Clarke

    Personally, I don’t care how big Google + is. I have interacted and LEARNED FAR MORE from the people on Google + than I ever have from the people on Facebook. 

    Just this morning I went on and found a comment under one of Obama’s (RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT BTW) posts from a Chinese Citizen. He explained why people from China post things such as “Soap Locking” underneath politically charged articles.

    They do it because they can be banned from the Internet or even jailed if they make comments that go against their governments, so they post things that don’t make sense just to show their government that they know about the events and they are watching. 

    I could have never learned something like this on Facebook. Maybe Google + is no match for Facebook.

    But, maybe that says more about Humanity than it does about Google + .

  • Y. Mladenov

    I don’t find the data in this report (if can be called so) to be objective at all for the following reasons:
    - You are indirectly citing the Wall Street Journal which is not exactly the messiah of Web 2.0
    - The “cite” is being made with a link to a 404 and in any case leads to a page on
    - You mention FB’s and Twitter’s mobile activity and while the whole article is supposed to serve as a comparison I don’t see how you compare G+ activity in that case. With that said I don’t see how this information actually matters, so that it would deserve to be mentioned.
    - “One brand manager … recently told me that, for his organization, Google+ is all about SEO”……  For SEO’s every site is about SEO. Even with poor usability G+ has something to offer to users. I am not even going to address the “one guy told me that…” part.

    And with this brief overview of your article I would like to also state that I am no longer subscribed to your page on FB.

  • Y. Mladenov

     p.s. I even got an error while trying to sing in with my FB profile.

  • Anonymous

    I think that people are used to Facebook that’s why they spend time on it. Google+ is a new learning curve for people.  With so much information on a daily basis that happens, Google+ is just another thing to do.  I do spend some time on Google+ more than Facebook these days because Facebook is bombarding me with too many pictures of “inspirational” quotes and/or too many sales pitches.
    Linked in has been a favorite of mine for two years now.  I enjoy the groups and find people are more serious there.  Who knows?  Maybe Google+ will grow?  That is my 2 cents!

  • InfoCrawler InfoCrawler

    It’s 405 minutes per month according to comScore. That probably translates roughly to the daily average figure you quote per visit

  • Andreea Townsend

    I’m not sold on Google+…not enough to tell my clients to stay active. It serves it’s purpose with SEO, but that’s really about it. 

  • Andreea Townsend

    So this isn’t really accurate. I would venture to say that more use applications like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. I’d like to see more data. By the way– Myspace really? Surprised to see it on the list.

  • Sarah Dep

    Really I don’t know they both can


    Problem is – people don’t know what they can do with google+ yet.. Hangouts are very powerful, and Google+ integration into Android, youtube, gmail, etc. will only bring it more in front of people.. These stats are never worth 2 cents.

  • adam telian

    google+ will never be a strong competitor. look at all of those sites compared to facebook, they are all very, very different. And the one that is trying to be the next facebook? It’s at the bottom of the list, not even pulling 1% the same time usage as facebook.  It’s embarrassing.  

    Also, is it 89 minutes or 98 minutes for tumblr and pinterest? you flip flopped one of those. 

  • Alan Nowogrodski

    Deadpool in 3,2,1!

  • Alyssa Copeland

    Google + started off with a lot of potential. And while that potential is still there, I agree that it hasn’t been really tapped into. But that’s on the users’ end as well as Google’s. I’ve seen the commercials on TV for the Hangouts and all of these new features that the company is trying to promote, but I can honestly say that I haven’t tried to use it. I think that that is what Google should be trying to focus on: getting their users to want to explore the site and all of its possibilities. 

  • Stephen Jury

    3 mintues a month…. I’d even question that number :) 

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