As Google+ jumps back on the radar for many with their new design, it may be attracting more users than ever.
Since Google+ first came on the scene in 2011, it’s been the center of much skepticism, criticism, and adversity. Despite this heavy opposition from experts, journalists, and naysayers, the network continued to develop a strong, devoted following of passionate users.
When a study came out in early 2013 that Google+ had surpassed Twitter to become the second largest social network in the world, many were shocked. Even more were shocked when Google announced in October of 2013 that there were 540 million active users connected to Google+.
Current Active Google+ Users
According to a recent survey (November 2015) conducted by Global Web Index, the number of people using Google+ is surprisingly higher than many might expect. How many exactly?
Well, first it’s worth noting that this is indeed a survey, not actual usage data from Google itself. As with any surveys, there is margin for error and many factors to take into account.
With that said, the results of their global survey (excluding China) were as follows:
According to the survey, 23% of surveyed internet users worldwide have used Google+ in the last month. That’s roughly 1/4 of the internet-using world.23% of surveyed internet users worldwide have used Google+ in the last month.Click To Tweet
Now, since we don’t know how many people were surveyed all we can do is speculate what these actual numbers mean. So I’ve come up with some possible estimations based on other data sources.
According to a recent ITU release, there are now over 3.2 billion people using the internet worldwide. If that is accurate and we partner that data with the Global Web Index findings we can estimate that:
Google+ potentially had 690 million active users in the past month.
But being that the survey does not include Asia, we can’t be sure how much the usage would affect the global average. Since this set of stats would suggest that there are 3.3 billion internet users worldwide with Asia making up 1.6 billion of them, we could alternatively be a bit more conservative in our estimate.
If we remove the 1.6 billion Asian users from the global equation we are left with roughly 1.7 billion active internet users worldwide. Applying Global Web Index’s 23% average we could conservatively estimate that:
Google+ potentially had 391 million active users in the past month.
This is probably the safer estimate. And even in this safer estimate Google+ is still larger than Twitter and at least as big as Instagram.
But you know what? It doesn’t actually matter anyways.
It Doesn’t Matter How Many Users Google+ Has
It doesn’t really matter how many users any social network has. You know what really matters?
How many people are you able connect with in a relevant way?
If there are 1.4 billion people using Facebook, but none of them have any interest in the stories you’re telling (or you can’t reach them)— there is zero value in that network.
If there are 300 people using MySpace and every single one of them are interested in your story— it’s suddenly more valuable than Facebook.
I’m just using these as extreme examples, and, of course, they’re not accurate. There’s no way Myspace has 300 users. 😉#SocialMedia success isn’t based on how many active users but how many YOU can connect to.Click To Tweet
The point is this— don’t get caught up in the “who has the most active users” game. It’s even more meaningless than your follower count.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from working with a diverse set of clients, it’s this— target market trumps mass market.
So when you’re considering putting time, energy and resources into your social media marketing don’t get caught up in the big numbers. Do your market research and know which networks your target market is actively engaging on.
If you need help deciding where your time and effort is best spent on social media, you can always drop me a line.
So does Global Web Index’s Google+ active users survey surprise you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.