Last year, it was determined that Google+ was the fastest growing social network ever as it achieved various user milestones faster than competitors such as MySpace, Twitter, and even social giant Facebook. In late December, Google+ hit its biggest milestone yet as the company announced that the platform now has approximately 150 million active users.
This is certainly a big deal, and if those members are truly active, then it means the stock of Google+ as a social marketing channel has increased tenfold.
Finally Open for Business
When Google+ hit the scene in the summer of 2011, the platform was strictly off limit to brands. The search company announced that it was in the process of optimizing the service for business use, and at the same time, remained firm in its stance of not wanting it to be used as a sales channel. Disobedient brands learned just how serious it was when the company started terminating accounts. Anxious social marketers finally got their wish when Google+ Pages debuted in November.
Similar to Facebook Pages, this feature removes the previous restrictions and really lets brands engage and interact with their audiences. Statistics show that Pages is a big part of the huge surge in Google+ traffic.
In the early stages, one of the biggest knocks on Google+ was its lack of what many thought would be an obvious search element. The critics can no longer complain because the platform has become considerably more search-friendly in recent times. With the launch of the Pages feature, Google also introduced Direct Connection, which allows users to go straight to a brand’s page by simply typing a plus sign in front of their name in the search box.
The company also recently added real-time search, #hashtag integration, and other features designed to help social marketers increase their visibility via Google+.
SEE ALSO : Google+ Branded Pages Are Shiny and New
Although Facebook is still growing at a steady rate, many users have grown tired of it. This is quite similar to how users felt when migrating over from MySpace and other early social sites to Facebook. Burnout from existing networks is the very factor that initially attracted people to Google+. And once it became evident that this platform had some uniqueness and wasn’t just another social toy, the interest piqued even higher.
There is still no telling whether Google+ is truly a worthy contender to Facebook’s crown, but it always pays to be an early adopter. The brands who dove in right away will obviously have an advantage over those who are just getting on the bandwagon and forced to play catch up.
Believe It or Not
The news of Google+ reaching the 150 million user mark came from Global Web Index, a startup company that focuses on market research in the areas of social media and user behavior. Strangely, its findings have not been confirmed, and some sources have even come out to question the accuracy of the data.
In any event, Google+ is growing fast, and the more it grows, the more powerful it will become on the social marketing front.
Guest Author : Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Email marketing expert, Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.