The growing influence of Google+ makes this social networking service a popular choice for operating a social media campaign. Social media for small business owners is quickly becoming a common way for these owners to promote their products and services.
ZDNet reports that Google+ is currently the second largest social network in the world with 343 active million users. This level of usage represents a dramatic change from 2012, when many observers considered Google+ to be a "virtual ghost town."
The largest social network in the world is still Facebook with 700 million active users, according to GlobalWebIndex. This research group defines an active user as one who has used the site within the last month. The data from GlobalWebIndex for the fourth quarter of 2012 shows that Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are all growing rapidly as the usage of social networks shifts from local platforms to global platforms.
Twitter has been the fastest-growing social network recently, with an increase of 40 percent for 2013 so far. Twenty-one percent of all Internet users are also active Twitter users, which is the same percentage of Internet users who visit YouTube on a monthly basis. Active Facebook users account for 51 percent of Internet users and 25 percent of Internet users are also active Google+ users.
The user base for Google+ has increased by 27 percent during 2013 so far. YouTube is currently in third place, although GlobalWebIndex didn't consider this site to be a social platform prior to 2013. Google has integrated Google+ into the Google product set, which also includes services such as Gmail and YouTube. The rapid growth of Google+ indicates that the Google product set has the potential to direct the future of Internet searches.
Users of Google services automatically receive a Google+ membership, but this doesn't mean they actually use Google+. A more significant finding from the GlobalWebIndex data is the fact that Google+ users are actually using this social network instead of the other services in the Google product set. This finding doesn't surprise the many Google+ users who consider it to be their favorite network.
The rapid growth of Google+ for business doesn’t appear to come from Facebook or Twitter users changing their social media platform. The most likely explanation is that all three major social networks are attracting users from small, local networks such as Copains d’Avant, Hyves and MeinVz. Small Chinese services such as Kaixin, QZone, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo are all declining rapidly. Tencent Weibo is losing members particularly quickly, with a decrease of 57 percent in 2012.
It seems likely that Google+ and the other major social networks will continue to grow by taking users from the smaller networks. Google+ may eventually surpass Facebook as the largest social media network in the world, but this won't occur soon. Facebook should continue to keep its dominant position in social networking for the time being, despite its use of annoying notifications.
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Emmet M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.