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Will Google+ Finally Surpass Facebook?

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Photo courtesy of ePublicist via Flickr Creative Commons

Last year, Chris Taylor wrote in his Social Media Today article that Google+ is the next big thing when it comes to social media marketing for businesses. Taylor said that the social page from the search engine has “a different type of platform, with a different target audience.” Facebook and Twitter are considered social media for socializing, where people create an account and talk to people to build a network.  Google + and LinkedIn, on the other hand, are social media for businesses, where we build our profiles to professionally build our connection with clients and customers.

Although Google+ may not have as many followers as Facebook, they keep their users happily secured with their service. Let’s Get Wise said that Facebook has been receiving considerable amounts of scrutiny, especially with the way the platform collects user data that leads to privacy concerns. “The approaches to breaching Internet privacy have caused the public at large to question just how secure their data is in the new era of connectivity,” Wise wrote in their blog.

But, will security be enough for Google+ to surpass the leading social media platforms of today?

 

What do the numbers suggest in terms of social signals?

Search Metrics released their 2013 analysis of the social signals of both platforms (Facebook and Google+). From January 2012 to April 2013, the data revealed that Google+ is “growing like crazy” in the United States, yet it still lags behind Facebook in terms of absolute numbers.

Through a graph, Search Metrics revealed that Google+ has grown tremendously by 788%, whereas Facebook’s curve only rose to 202%. “The Google network is growing at the stage of small to small which therefore is faster. Facebook is growing from its extremely large base to something larger, and is therefore slower,” the data revealed.

 

User login trends

For marketers, the number of registered members and social shares are not enough to guarantee the top spot as the most powerful social medium online. It’s essential to note the behavior of visitors, especially on the amount of time they spend on each platform. But, once again, it seems that the Google platform has a lot to do to keep up with Facebook’s game.

In terms of user logins, eMarketer surveyed half of Internet users worldwide and revealed that 26% logged into Google+ at least once a month, which is only half of Facebook’s share. Meanwhile, ComScore survey last year as published by Mashable said that a Google+ user spends an average time of 6 minutes, 47 seconds, which is incomparable to Facebook’s 6 hours, 44 minutes.

 

Google+’s redeeming factors

Due to Google’s continuous innovation, it’s no secret why GPlusGeek touted Google+ as a platform with a lot more to offer. In addition to the Hangouts, the platform consists of the Drive, which allows small and large businesses a seamless document sharing with its employees and patrons. The Google platform has a lot more on its sleeves, including:

· Tight integration to the Google Ecosystem
Quora’s Andrew Brown said that the idea of a tight integration to the Google ecosystem means more modern marketers to rely on the search engine. “Facebook doesn’t have the Google ecosystem of maps, calendar, search, books, movies, and YouTube,” he said. The company’s goal is to create a strong backbone of all its services, an area where Facebook falls short.

· Google+ makes it easier to target new markets
Lifehacker notes that the Google platform is good at connecting to various markets with different interests. For marketing purposes, they included Picasa, a photo management and editing tool, to keep your photos easily accessible online.

 

What does the future hold for these two platforms?

Last year, Real Wire predicted that the social sharing for Google+ will overtake Facebook’s output in 2016. The article notes that Google+ has been experiencing a monthly boost of 19% in social sharing activities, compared to Facebook’s 10%.

Google exerts a lot more effort to keep the trend this way by implementing the mandatory creation of Google+ accounts in line of the activation of Android handsets. In reference to Search Metrics’ findings, Google has scored a total of 900 million Android activations, which was a 100% increase prior to the year the survey was conducted.

In the midst of the competition, it all boils down to how and what marketers make of social media. In choosing between the two platforms, take note that they’re only as useful as you maximize them.

About jennifer birch

It’s true that Jennifer Birch enjoys writing about the latest trends in social media and business. In the morning, a part of her routine is to read the Business section of the daily, whether online or offline. For more expert opinion, contact Jenni on Twitter (@WrittenbyJenni) and Google+ (Jennifer Birch).

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