While Google’s Larry Page and the company’s other figureheads continue to tout massive user base gains for Google+, a report from RJ Metrics suggests that actual activity and engagement are quite low.
The study found that the average Google+ post garners less than one reply or other action, such as share or +1. Despite the appearance of different Google+ sharing widgets throughout the web, few are actually clicking on these buttons while on Google’s network. Moreover, 30 percent of those who comment or share content on the site never do so again. According to RJ Metrics, those who make five posts are still unlikely to make another.
All content on the site receives an average of 0.77 +1s and 0.54 replies per post. So even when content is shared on the site, few are interacting with it. Nonetheless, Brafton has reported users seem to be +1ing content across the web, with the plugin driving 2.7 billion shares in December. This means there could be benefits to having the sharing buttons integrated on websites, and this might still be a good way to gain advocacy for content from a search perspective.
In the past, Google’s social efforts remained separate from its other products, while it tried to improve the appeal and functionality of its network that could become a “thread” across its services. Both Google Wave and Google Buzz eventually failed, but Google appears to be determined to make Google+ succeed. Even with the paltry activity, it’s unlikely that Google will pull the plug on the social network.
This news comes around the time when one of Google+’s chief competitors is set to become move among the highest IPOs ever. Brafton reported that Facebook debuted at approximately $40 per share in its first day of trading and has continued to add users.