Google+ gets a traffic surge of 1269 percent

google-plus-logo-640

If you’ve been thinking of trying out a new social network, you’re not alone. Google Plus has seen a sharp rise in traffic over the past week according to new data from Experian Hitwise.

Last week, right before the F8 conference, Google Plus was made open to the public and introduced a number of new features including stuff for Hangouts, Google Docs and some added search functions. Since then, Google’s star social networking service has seen a traffic surge of 1269 percent, with U.S. visits at 15 million—significantly trumping the paltry 1.1 million U.S. visits from the preceding week.

That data doesn’t even take into account mobile users, or those that wander over to Plus using the black bar. It’s not exactly clear what caused the spike, though its possible to draw a correlation from the drop of the invite feature or criticism over Facebook changes. Whatever the reason, Plus doesn’t seem to be going the way of Orkut anytime soon.

graphs don't lie

Currently, Hitwise is ranking Plus at number 8 in the Social Networking and Forums category, just behind MySpace and way up from its former spot at 54. ReadWriteWeb also points out that Paul Allen’s estimates have the Google Plus user count now at 43 million.

Further chipping at the rivalry with Facebook, CityVille, Zynga’s most popular game on Facebook has recently come to Google’s social networking site. Cityville currently has 72 million users.

Google also rolled out an interesting change for one of Plus’ main features, Circles. Similar to Twitter lists, now Google Plus users will be able to share separate circles of friends with others. A share link will pop on the Google+ Circles page, which will allow you to share with your friends. The new feature doesn’t allow others to see the title of the circle or if the circle creator updates members.

Product Review

It's not a spy, but you still won't want to friend Facebook's Portal+

Facebook has jumped into the smart home game with the Portal+, a video-calling device featuring an Amazon Alexa speaker and a screen. While it has lots of cool calling features, we’re weary of Facebook taking up counter space in our home.
Mobile

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.