No, Google+ Doesn’t Have A 60 Percent Engagement Rate

Earlier today, Google CEO Larry Page told an audience on the company’s quarterly earnings call that Google+ is currently seeing 60 percent of its users “engage” on a daily basis, and 80 percent engage weekly.

Or did he?

That’s how I reported it here on Marketing Land, and also how countless others heard and reported it, too.

During the call, Google’s Vic Gundotra was posting images on Google+ that also give the impression that 60 percent/80 percent of Google+ users sign-in daily/weekly. Here are a couple:



Meanwhile, Google’s Louis Gray, shared the same message on Google+:

“Google+ has achieved 90 million users with at least one new feature every single day, over 1 million businesses and brand pages, and sign in of 60% daily, 80% weekly.”

Despite what I and other reporters think we heard, and despite what Googlers were posting on Google+, the written version of Page’s comments has a slightly different — but very important — change to the wording:

“I’m also pleased to announce that there are over 90M Google+ users — well over double what I announced just a quarter ago on our earnings call. Engagement on + is also growing tremendously. I have some amazing data to share there for the first time: +users are very engaged with our products — over 60% of them engage daily, and over 80% weekly.”

I’ve bolded the important part: Page’s written comments aren’t about how many Google+ users actually use Google+, they’re about how many Google+ users engage with all of Google’s products.

That’s a big difference.

My guess about what happened is this: While going over his written notes during the call, Page misspoke and gave the impression that Google was claiming 60 percent and 80 percent engagement inside Google+. As of this moment, today’s call hasn’t been archived yet on the Google Investor Relations YouTube channel, so I can’t check if that’s the case.

Bottom line: Google+ does not have 60 percent and 80 percent daily/weekly engagement. Instead, those numbers represent how many Google+ users use any Google product.

Postscript: The earnings call is now archived at the URL above. Page begins discussing Google+ at about the 3:10 mark. At one point, he says “engagement on + is also growing” and then goes on to say what’s shown above in his written comments about the engagement actually being with other Google products. Hence, the confusion.

(Tip: Forbes)

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Google: Google+ | Social Media Marketing | Statistics: Online Behavior | Statistics: Popularity & Usage


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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  • Conrad Dunkerson

    Your analysis is flawed on multiple levels.

    First, there is no way that the statistics you suggest they are reporting could be compiled. That is, Google cannot be reporting what percentage of G+ users access any Google product because they cannot determine that percentage. THINK about it. How would they know whether the person looking at a Google Maps page or performing a Google search at a given IP address is a G+ user or not? They can only identify G+ users if they are currently logged in (hence the personalized search results only show up for logged in users).

    Second, the percentages are too low to represent daily/weekly usage of all Google tools. We know from other sources that roughly 66% of internet users access Google search at least once per day. Add in Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and all the other Google products and the percentage is much higher. Yet only 60% of G+ users access these tools daily? Why would G+ users be significantly LESS engaged with Google products than web users in general?

    Third, the article itself quotes a secondary source which states quite clearly that the percentages are “logged in” users (a statistic they CAN determine). Yes, it is possible to interpret Page’s remarks in multiple ways… but why would you assume an interpretation which contradicts what another Google employee said?

    Finally, the entire argument of ‘these are Google usage figures, not Google+ usage figures’ is inherently false. Google+ IS Google. What did you think they were doing here? Look at all the cross-linking and integration. The whole point is to combine all of Google’s disparate properties under one roof. Arguing that Gmail usage or YouTube usage doesn’t count is like claiming that people who send an e-mail or watch a video through Facebook are not using Facebook. Google+ is all of Google, plus a social media ‘wrapper’.

  • Anonymous

    It looks like the written statement is exactly what is said in the call… Check 3:07 here:

  • Louie Entwistle


  • Anonymous

    And it looks like Google is taking steps to make the numbers more consistent in the future:

    Google Now Forcing All New Users To Create Google+ Enabled Accounts

  • Anonymous

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