Google+ now 8th biggest social network: Gaining on LinkedIn and MySpace

29/09/2011

Traffic has exploded on Google+ after the social networking site opened to the public, with its market share closing in on Linkedin and MySpace, according to new data. The study, from Web analytics firm Hitwise, saw traffic to Google+ shooting up 1,269% in one week, making the site the eighth largest social network on the Internet. The data indicates that Google+ rose from the 54th most visited site social networking to the eighth, receiving nearly 15 million visits in one week.

29/09/2011

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This number is likely to be larger because Hitwise's data does not include mobile traffic or traffic from the Google notification bar.

Should Google Plus continue to grow like this, it will be in a position knock down the likes of MySpace and Linkedin very soon. The site is now right behind MySpace, which had 16.3 million visits, and LinkedIn, with 17.8 million visits in the week ending Sept. 24.

Google+ is still far behind the numbers one and two on the charts. Facebook leads the pack with 1.7 billion total visits in one week, followed by YouTube with a little over 530 million. Twitter came in third with 33 million visits in one week.

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When Google switched access from invitation-only to open for everyone last Wednesday, Google+ even ranked as the third largest social network for a brief moment.

The fast growth of Google+ from its launch in early July to last week "illustrates how quickly the cycle from 'innovator' and 'early adopter' phase, to the 'early majority' and 'late majority' can occur," Heather Dougherty director of research at Hitwise said in a blog post. She also noted that early adopters still account for a large share of Google+'s traffic.

Reuters noted that the research company separated the consumers into "fun" groups. However, while Google Plus was initially attractive to those in "Colleges and Cafés" and "University Town," it has grown to "Bohemian Groove" and "Hispanic Hospitality," the article stated.

"For the past 12 weeks we've been in field trial, and during that time we've listened and learned a great deal," Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra said in a blog post. "We're nowhere near done, but with the improvements we've made so far we're ready to move from field trial to beta... Anyone can visit google.com/+, join the project and connect with the people they care about."

Read the full Hitwise blog post here.

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