As mentioned within an article in the Wall Street Journal earlier today, Google+ visitors spent just three minutes per month on the upstart social network between the months of September 2011 and January 2012 according to data collected by comScore. While active users likely spend vastly more time on Google+ each month, it’s far less than the approximate seven hours spent on Facebook per month by the average visitor. In addition, Google+ was outpaced by Twitter at twenty-one minutes per month, Linkedin at seventeen minutes per month and even Myspace at eight minutes per month. Other sites within the comScore study include Tumblr and Pinterest, both which attracted visitors for nearly an hour and a half per month on average over the last six months.
While a Google spokesperson was quick to denounce the comScore data as being “dramatically lower” than internal data likely collected through Google’s analytics package, the comScore data definitely shows a disconcerting trend with Google+.
While Google’s Chief Executive Larry Page recently mentioned that the social network has 90 million users and over 60 percent of those users engaged with the site every day, it’s unlikely that these users are actually logging into Google to use Google+ specifically. Instead, users are logging in to use a Google product like search, Gmail or YouTube.
Google recently put more emphasis on including social recommendations within standard search results, but this tactic may prove useless for search users if their friends on Google+ are completely inactive on the social network. In addition to a lack of engagement, Google+ was also noted as being outpaced by Pinterest earlier this month in regards to traffic being sent to outside sites. While Google has been aggressive in promoting Google+ in national commercials during popular events like the recent Academy Awards, brands like Intel have reported a lack of enthusiasm and user engagement when creating posts on Google+ compared to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.