Limited Google+ Still Growing Exponentially

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Google+ user metrics show 1.8 million visits last week, with over half the traffic from Google and Gmail

Google+ has been in limited field-testing for more than three weeks, and there has been no shortage of statistics and punditry bandied about in the blogosphere and on the new social network itself.

Two days ago, founder and Google+ user Paul Allen counted about 18 million users, just days after Google CEO Larry Page said it had over 10 million users. Considering that Allen said Google+ has been getting 750,000 to a million new users per day, the number could be more than 20 million users by now. That is incredible for three weeks of online life but a drop in the bucket to Facebook’s 750 million global users.

Google+ Showing Exponential Growth

Experian Hitwise arrived with some new stats for the Google+ parsing hub, revealing that it received more than 1.8 million total visits for the week ending July 16. That is an increase of 283 percent over the previous week and leap of 821 percent the week before that, capping its first week of existence. Yet that does not seem much considering the amount of users the Website supposedly has.

Facebook is still whipping Google+ in time spent on a social network. HitWise Research Director Heather Dougherty said the average visit time for Google+ last week was 5 minutes and 50 seconds, compared with almost 22 minutes users spent on Facebook.

Dougherty also looked at how users arrived at Google+. Google Search (34 percent) and Gmail (26 percent) accounted for 50 percent of all upstream traffic to Google+ last week, with an additional six percent of extra traffic coming from YouTube and Google Profiles. Facebook ranked third among Websites visited right before Google+, an indication that many social-network users maintain multiple accounts.

Closed Site But Millions Of Visits

Google+ ranked as the 42nd most visited social-networking site in the US by the week ending July 16, and was the 638th most visited site among all sites in the US for that period. Regionally in the US, Google+ received the most visitors from Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco (in descending order). This is an interesting statistic, considering that Google’s home base is so close to San Francisco.

While the early figures are promising for Google, some wonder whether the growth will continue. No one is expecting Google to lure most of the users from Facebook or Twitter but there is some question as to whether early Google+ users will become fatigued from creating and populating Circles with their various contacts. It takes time, which for most people knee-deep in social media is in short supply.

Will users simply create Circles and let them lie fallow because they do not have time to provide the necessary upkeep for the seeds they plant? Fast Company posed the issue, and eWEEK now pivots related questions to our readers: are you feeling Google+ Circles fatigue? What are you doing about it?

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