Study: Google+ Will Overtake Facebook’s Social Sharing By 2016

Google+ is turning 2 years old this month and has seen both solid growth and criticism during these first years. However, all that talk of Google+ ghost town talk could soon be moot according to a recent SearchMetrics study. Not only is Google+ projected to being thriving, but it is also projected to pass Facebook in social shares on February 2016.


To generate this data, SearchMetrics looked at comparison of average monthly growth of Facebook “shares” vs. Google “+1s” from the previous 6 months. The study saw that the number of Facebook shares grew roughly 10% per month while Google+’s +1 growth was growing at 19% per month. In addition to looking at recent growth, the previous 15 months were also analyzed and showed staggering results:


While the image charts the rapid growth rate (in %), a key item to note is the overall reach number listed to the right. The current number of Facebook shares is 29 billion, while Google+ is just over 2 billion. While the trends are favorable for Google+, it is important to remember that Facebook currently has 15x the social sharing … today.

Marcus Tober, founder and CTO of SearchMetrics, stated the following about the growth:

“While it still has a relatively small base, Google+ activity and users are growing at an insane speed. And the unthinkable is possible – in terms of the important area of sharing activity at least, our data shows it could actually catch up with Facebook if the trend continues ….  This year Google announced that its Android operating system has over 900 million activations.  So since last year, this means a growth of over 100% on the basis of 400 million activations about a year ago. And these are all directly connected to a Google+ profile”

For more information and the full report from Search Metrics, see the official press release.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Google: Google+ | Top News


About The Author: is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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  • Larry Kim

    I think it’s because g+ is more like twitter than FB. On avg I share 10 things on twitter/g+ per day vs. 0-1 on FB

  • Stephan Koß

    Is this a synopsis Shares vs. +1 ?

  • Craig McCracken

    Maybe its the community / type of people on G+, they are more tech savvy, or influenced by the techy people on G+. G+ might be the “its cool to share a lot” social network.

  • Colin Guidi

    Would you think that comparing +1′s to Facebook ‘Likes’ would be more appropriate? Seeing how the intent and actions behind the buttons seem more similar than comparing +1′s to Facebook ‘Shares’ IMO.

  • Takeshi Young

    Just think of what they could have achieved with better Google Reader integration…

  • Wendy Piersall

    All I ever see on G+ is people spamming their contacts promoting their own content.

  • Shalini D

    not possible ;)

  • Gordon Borg

    Well in the last year google + shows more advanced and nice layout. New features seems are place which helps users easy to adopt. Seeing the trend that more elderly generation are joining facebook, the young generation will shift to something else – were parents are not online – could be google+ , who knows?

  • Emmanuel Bourmault

    Then you need to start circling the right persons…
    On my Facebook the last comment I received was in January 2012, does that mean that FB is a ghost town? No it’s just that I got nobody set as friend!
    That’s the same thing with Google+ if you put low quality people in your circles you will have low quality content, if you put nobody in your circles you will have no content (not true if you leave the “what’s hot” activated).
    Are you starting to understand how it works? Or do you need more explanation?

  • Jebran Ali

    May be it is because of the freedom, that people feel on Google Plus.

  • Dan Branco

    Predicting anything in Social Media or Technology 3 years out seems foolish. But I guess you did get me to click on your article, so mission accomplished.

  • Charity Kountz

    I have recently made the switch from Facebook to Google+ and have found the openness of the platform to be refreshing. The interface is very simple to use but allows me the kind of control I want.

  • deacon_2112

    As far as data miners go, FB is bad. But Google is much, much worse. Far as I’m concerned, they can take their requests for my information, and go to hell.

  • Rikki Sawhney

    Oh please, these statistics are out of context. How can you compare growth of the established market leader Facebook and new malfunctioning beta test called G+. Its sad that you assume google plus will continue to have growth. 2 years ago, based on such faulty statistics, it was predicted that G+ will surpass Facebook in 2 years. So you should reconsider the methodology.

    In 3 years, people do not want to switch after putting so much of their life on Facebook

  • Rikki Sawhney

    All right Google fanboy, you are right about finding people on G+ who share quality content. But why should I do it? I got my quality people with quality content on Facebook. I don’t need to put make any effort there. Why should I work for Google when it is not giving me my privacy or ownership of what I post. Anyone who ever believed that Google was somehow different than a typical tech company, that it was more ethical or committed to openness than others in the industry can’t believe that any longer.

  • Rikki Sawhney

    That’s a misplaced rationalisation

  • David Eisner

    “If X continues to grow at its current rate of K% per year, it will be S% of all Q by the year Z!” — Always be skeptical of such arguments. Growth rates don’t stay constant. Sometimes they increase, and sometimes they decrease. Small things tend to grow more quickly at first, and slow down later. One recent example: the flattening of eBook sales:

  • Emmanuel Bourmault

    The main difference is the circles, you can put people of different interests in different kinds of circles, and you can choose to show more or less contents of each of those circles and share contents only to them.
    You can also circle anybody you want and see their public content if they don’t circle you back, you don’t need them to “friend you” and you don’t give a damn if they don’t.
    You say Google doesn’t give you privacy? at least they keep your content for themselves, Facebook sells your contents to any third party that gives them money, so your privacy is much lower on FB.
    If you want full privacy you need to disconnect from Internet because all companies out there wants your private information, tell me one big firm that doesn’t want them? At least I trust a firm that doesn’t sell my private content to the world!

  • Craig Goslan

    I only joined Google+ and became a member when I bought an android phone. I do not use Google+ for any reason at all and I suspect there are many other ‘Google+ members’ in the same boat as me.

  • John Sun

    I have stopped using Facebook altogether and now G+ is mine main social media site. Much more relevant info posted on Google+ in circles, in comparison with Facebook.

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