Google+ recently announced that it's hitting important user count benchmarks, but do those numbers actually translate to active participants?

G+ now has 300 million followers, but how active are they?

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Google+ has always been a bit of a mystery when it comes to social media marketing power. Given Google’s stakes in the network’s success, it seems natural to assume that it’s in brands’ best interests to develop strong presences on the site. Yet, G+ has struggled to earn brands’ and social media users’ adoration despite the search engine’s best efforts to push the platform to prominence. At a recent event announcing 18 new features, reps from the site revealed the network is rapidly growing.

There are now “540 million people active across Google each month, [with] 300 million people active in just the stream and more than 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week,” Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra wrote in a post for the Official Google Blog.

As impressive as these numbers appear, Google+ membership figures are often contested because the search engine includes people who visit any Google property, including YouTube, Google News and Maps. Marketers should pay more attention to the 300 million stream users because it represents the number of people who actually log into Google+ and engage with people or brands.

For now, it seems that brands’ success with the network depends on the demographics they target. Some communities (like tech) thrive on G+, and members advocate the network’s ability to organize information. However, businesses may see less traction when aiming to reach target audiences comprised of Google+ laggards. (Think of these people who are still attached to other go-to networks, but are in an exploratory phase with G+). While these demographics may not yet be actively reading and sharing brand content, they migh

Lauren Kaye
Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.


  • Alexandra Petean-Nicola

    I do agree that some industries have more to gain from Google+ right now than others. It’s hard to tell how active people are. There are users in my circles that are as active as my friends on Facebook (or even more if that’s possible). And at the same time I have people in my circles that post only once a week.

    • Robert Lyon

      I post about one a week, but I’m active daily.

      • Alexandra Petean-Nicola

        I was referring to overall posts, meaning on their profile,in communities that we are both members of, or comments to other post. If you don’t do at least one of this a day I don’t think you can actually say you’re active. But then again I don’t know how Google defines an active G+ user.

  • Brad Leibowitz

    From someone who works in the tech industry (Cloud Hosting), I fully agree that Google + is an excellent social network for finding and interacting with some of the best content and brands within IT. However, I will also say, beyond just tech, Google + has by far the best community topic section of any social network going. Google + Communities are an excellent source for like minded intelligent discourse concerning your topic of choice.

  • Robert Lewis

    Google+ is actually a great resource for marketers, even for simply following others and sharing in their research. It’s different from Facebook in that Google+ posts and authorship can directly impact search rankings and SEO across the entire web, whereas Facebook only shows up in its own analytics–in other words, you have to be on Facebook to search Facebook.

    • Belinda Summers

      I had to agree with @disqus_Pgde13YZr1:disqus . It does matter to know what kind of audience do you target or what social media platform to penetrate your efforts. I mean you don’t have to be everywhere. As a B2b online marketer, I find Google plus effective and helpful in building a strong online presence and credibility.