In a development that surprised some industry analysts, Google+ has surpassed Twitter among the world’s top social media websites, based upon active users.
According to data released by Globalwebindex, a market research company based in the U.K., Google+ still trails social media leader Facebook by a considerable margin, but in the last quarter, Google+ enjoyed a whopping 27 percent increase in active users to 343 million. Along with You Tube’s estimated 280 million active users, Google’s two primary social media sites stand to fare well in 2013, according to a spokesman from Google, whose headquarters is in Mountain View.
However the results from Alexa.com’s top social media websites, based upon web traffic, reveals something quite different. Facebook and Twitter still rank number one and two, with Linkedin, Google+ and Pinterest rounding out the top five. In a second review of Alexa’s stats 24 hours later, the rankings did not change.
Many critics of Google+ argue that the statistics from Globalwebindex are misleading, suggesting that Facebook is far and beyond the social media leader and Google+ stats benefit from Google’s search engine and its other properties like You Tube, Google Maps and Google Translate because they are now essentially all interconnected. Others say that members aren’t on Google+ nearly as long in comparison to top dog, Facebook. Still others, just by clicking onto something that belongs to Google makes them a member. Say for instance an iPad user is performing a Google search of “You Tube.” When the entry appears, other Google properties appear to the left of the search field – You+, Search, Images and More. If a user were to be logged into You Tube and then wanted to perform another search, the links are so close together on an iPad screen that You+ can be easily tapped. Does this make the You Tube user a Google+ user?
Still, a number of well respected media companies such as Forbes, ZDnet, the Huffington Post and PC World have all reported that Google+ is, indeed, number two. However in his story, Forbes’ contributor Anthony Wing Kosner correctly points out that -
“all active accounts are suspect, Facebook’s included. Every action that you take logging in as a social network’s user can make you an active user.”
Whatever the case, Google+ is in an upward swing and doesn’t appear it will suffer a similar doom to Google’s other past social networking endeavours, like Orkut, Dodgeball and more recently, Google Buzz. This time around, however it looks like Google+ is making waves across the social media spectrum but staunch naysayers will continue to look for more conclusive proof that unquestionably, there has been a change at the top amongst social media sites boasting the most active users.