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Google Now Boasts World's No. 2 and No. 3 Social Networks 150

redletterdave writes "A new report released Monday revealed that Google+, less than a year and a half after its public debut, is now the No. 2 social network in the world with 343 million active users. Even better for Google, YouTube, which had not previously been tracked as a social network until recently, is now the No. 3 social network in the world with about 300 million active users. Google Plus and YouTube are being used by 25 percent and 21 percent of the global Internet populace, respectively."
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Google Now Boasts World's No. 2 and No. 3 Social Networks

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  • by jaymz666 ( 34050 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:07PM (#42718875)

    Youtube is more a number 2 in terms of content being dumped out by the commenters

  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:07PM (#42718885)
  • Not much competition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:08PM (#42718897)

    Not to belittle what Google has done and purchased, but what other options were and are there? Google was supposed to be more secure than 1 other social network company. It is, though many distrust Google as much as they distrust Facebook when it comes to releasing information to Governments. Youtube was acquired, and for "Movies" and "Videos" was already a healthy and stable company. If it was launched as a social media site, I doubt it would have the depth it does. An alternative would have popped up in my opinion.

    • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:48PM (#42719411) Journal

      Well there's Orkut...

      Oh wait.

    • Well there's Twitter.

      They are claiming that Google+ has more active users than Twitter. Clearly that isn't so, and therefore there's either some gross error in their methodology, or Google is paying them to say that.

      • Given how many people use gmail I'm sure Google+ has more people that have an account but they need to find a way to determine how many people actually want to use Google+
      • I think the deceptive part is that G+ and YouTube were counted separately. There should be a huge overlap between users of G+, YouTube, GMail, and Android/Google Play activations. While still invariably spammed, YouTube stats should be a more reliable indicator of Google's worth as a social networking provider, No. 2 by a nose.

        As far as businesses are concerned, a YouTube channel would be more valuable than a Twitter feed. Of course, as a raw source of user-generated, rather than machine-farmed, information

    • I have to ask what they mean by "active users", because although I have a G+ account and like the UI and features, *NONE* of my so-called-friends use it. None.

    • Twitter is a social network.

      They are trying to claim that Google+ has more active users than Twitter. Clearly that isn't so, so there's either something wrong with their methodology, or Google are paying them to say that.

      One possible error with their methodology is if they are counting YouTube users twice. Once as a user of YouTube, and then also because Google has tricked YouTube users into being Google+ members.

      • by s.petry ( 762400 )

        That is probably accurate. I have reviewed lots of things on Youtube, but would have never signed up and would be completely anonymous if they did not force me to use my G+ account for access. While I don't mind watching movies of kitten boxing, I'm not about to start composing and posting such things...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I trust Google not to release more information to governments than they have to, but people need to understand that Google must comply with legal requests for information from the governments of countries they have operations in. I don't know if Facebook is any better or worse in this regard. The thing is I absolutely trust Google not to sell my information to any other company, Google knows the value of the information and knows it is more valuable kept to themselves, that way they can take a cut every tim

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      Google+ is only at the top because Google tried to log everyone who is logged onto Google onto Google+. I wonder how many 'active' users do anything on Google+. I know that I have linked a profile to Google+, occasionally do have to log onto Google to get something done, but have not done anything on Google+ since the first few weeks where I was checking it out.
      • by Clsid ( 564627 )

        I agree, they are doing the same thing that Microsoft did with Internet Explorer. I might be part of those 300 million yet I never use Google+.

      • I use G+.

        Facebook is for jokes, memes, family stuff. Little of consequence.

        On G+ I interact with the engineers, kernel developers, cryptographers and other work related connections beyond my immediate employer.

        There's a simple work/play divide between G+ and Facebook and that separation is good.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:16PM (#42718965)

    Not too long ago, YouTube asked me if I wanted to change my YouTube name to something else.
    I thought 'Sure, why not.'
    And out of nowhere, I became a Google+ user.
    For a couple of months now, they've been tricking YouTube users into getting Google+ accounts.

    • by Etherized ( 1038092 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:25PM (#42719075)

      It seems as if this is what a lot of "Google+ users" actually are - people who use other google products which have Google+ integration that they trick people into activating. In addition to youtube they do the same trick for Picasa, instant upload on Android, gmail chat, and probably others that I am not aware of.

      I actually like Google+ well enough, but I think their reports of its user base are greatly exaggerated.

      • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:42PM (#42719327)

        Exactly. Note also that they merely claimed they were "active users", but that what defines a user as "active" is a rather open definition if you go all the way back to the original report [] ("Used or contributed to in the past month"). If all that is necessary to be considered active is to use a Google service that is linked to your G+ account (e.g. Google search returns personalized results based on links shared by your G+ friends, which are (frustratingly) turned on by default), then more and more people are becoming active users every day without even realizing that they are being counted as such, for precisely the reasons you specified. Google keeps presenting it as a simple account upgrade or transition to a new system, rather than the user signing up for a new account entirely, which is entirely deceptive and unethical.

        Moreover, the idea that there are actually 343M active users on G+ flies in the face of everything most of us know about the network, which is that the place is a virtual ghost town. Claiming that it has roughly half of the active user base of Facebook (343M vs. 693M) simply doesn't ring true and should have sent up a number of red flags for the research group. That YouTube has that many users comes as no surprise. But I don't see how a social network that most people still haven't even heard of can possibly be more popular than the most popular video sharing site that gets linked to and shared every single day, or half as popular as the social network that's used by nearly one in seven people worldwide.

        • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:59PM (#42719563) Homepage Journal

          Moreover, the idea that there are actually 343M active users on G+ flies in the face of everything most of us know about the network, which is that the place is a virtual ghost town.

          That depends entirely on who you circle or -- more importantly -- has circled you. It appears to me that the vast majority of Google+ posts are not public.

          Personally, my stream contains far more content than I can possibly keep up with. Only about a third of it is from personal friends or family, though. Most is from communities I'm a member of and various other people and projects I follow. If you're interested in Linux, for example, all of the major developers post on Google+.

          For my usage, I much prefer Google+ to FB. The volume of content on Google+ is lower (but still more than I can actually read), but the quality is much higher. I dumped my FB account a while ago. However, my wife has maintained hers because there are a lot of people in our families who aren't on G+ so she uses FB to follow them, and tells me what I need to know. If I couldn't get that second-hand, I'd probably have to use both.

          • That depends entirely on who you circle or -- more importantly -- has circled you. It appears to me that the vast majority of Google+ posts are not public.

            Oh, no doubt. But I'd imagine that the majority of the activity is clustered around a set of communities, rather than representing widespread adoption in the general population of the world. As it is, they're claiming that roughly one in twenty people worldwide have used G+ in the last month, which is ludicrously large for a service that's known by so few in the general public. For the time I was using it, I enjoyed G+'s metaphors and layout better than Facebook's, but the same sort of concerns that pushed

          • by Omestes ( 471991 ) <> on Monday January 28, 2013 @09:41PM (#42722085) Homepage Journal

            None of my real life friends have actually moved to Google+ from Facebook, but oddly, the community on Google+ is better. Less lively, but also less crap (went to the store today... here is a baby picture... here is a 3 year old meme... here is some religion fluff... here is a horoscope... I like poker.).

            Google+ sucks as a network of friends, but its pretty nice for communities. Both the tech/nerd communities, and the photography communities are thriving. Google+ is the new Flickr, and they actively work on it, sponsoring all sorts of events and hangouts, and actively courting popular online personalities. Its paid off. The tech, geek, and science communities are also pretty healthy.

            On Facebook I would never follow/like/whatnot someone who isn't a personal friend. One Google I only follow people who are interesting, even if they are complete strangers. They are pretty much two completely different things.

        • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @06:11PM (#42720415) Journal

          Moreover, the idea that there are actually 343M active users on G+ flies in the face of everything most of us know about the network, which is that the place is a virtual ghost town.

          Au contraire, it's a very lively and information-packed place, with all kinds of content and discussions going on all the time, every hour of the day. But hte problem is, nobody is sharing anything with you, because you haven't circled anyone on G+, and/or they haven't circled you back. It's like going to visit your acquaintance Frank, and before even entering you declare his house to be dark, and then go around telling everybody that "Frank's house is so dark". Well yeah, it's dark you douchebag cunt piece of shit cunt, it's dark because you didn't switch on the light, shit-for-brains.

          • You're seriously resorting to ad hominem? In truth, my experience with the site is actually the exact opposite of how you painted it in your analogy.

            Contrary to your suggestion that I just walked in and declared it dead, I had an account during the late beta and I found it to be pretty active at the time (considering the small number of users, of course). And then they opened it up to the public, and it was even more active. Friends, coworkers, online buddies, old classmates, and all manner of people were h

          • by gsslay ( 807818 )

            Why is it my job to switch on Frank's lights? If I called around someone's house uninvited and found the lights out, I usually conclude they may not be in. I don't enter anyway, switch on the lights, turn on the tv and help myself to a beer from the fridge. People tend to frown upon that.

            Or is it your analogy is crap?

      • by Zeromous ( 668365 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:43PM (#42719331) Homepage

        Spoken like someone who hasn't been to G+ in eons, thinks beast live there.

      • Absolutley.

        I tried G+ when it first came out. No one I know activley uses it, but everyone has *tried* it. I still get notifications and spam from it from Gmail, etc.

        I don't know if they'd consider me an "active user" or not.

        Unless there is some other parallel universe out there where everyone uses G+ instead of Facebook - I don't trust the numbers. *EVERYONE* I know uses Facebook, and *NO ONE* uses G+. I might be off by a *few* people in this statement - but it's not *much* of an overstatement.

        • I know more poeple who don't use Facebook and who have unactive accounts there than those who actually use Facebook. Maybe my social circle is too small though, or I don't hang out with enough kids but I just don't see facebook as an "everyone" sort of place. If Google+ is accused of inflating its numbers then Facebook is doing the exact same thing.

          I've been on Google+ awhile and have never once seen any spam. I don't have gmail though or any other Google "services".

      • It seems as if this is what a lot of "Google+ users" actually are - people who use other google products which have Google+ integration that they trick people into activating

        Note that the report data supposedly does not come from the companies who own the products being measured. Unfortunately the methodology isn't described. Does anyone know how the "Global Web Index" data is collected? Most methods I can think of would not be fooled by the kind of "fake" engagement you're describing.

      • by afgam28 ( 48611 )

        If you RTFA, it measures usage in terms of "Active Usage" (defined as "Used or contributed to in the past month"), not number of accounts. So unless Google is somehow tricking them into posting on G+, I don't think this particular study is exaggerated.

        • The thing is, Google is actually transitioning at least some of their services to use Google+ for all "sharing" purposes under the hood. I know this is true in the case of Picasa at least - Picasa as most people will see it is now simply a part of Google+. (I believe it's still technically possible to not use Google+ for sharing things in Picasa, but G+ is the default, and most people using Picasa at this point are "contributing" to Google+).

          Are other Google services doing this? It's hard to really know wha

        • The problem here is what does 'used' and 'Active' mean? I regular click links and unexpectedly end up on G+ while I'm logged into gmail in another tab. To G it looks like I'm using G+ as a user, but without intent am I really a user? Even if I actively went to G+ but only consume am I really 'active'?

          I have a G+ account purely to stop the other fscking G pages constantly nagging me. To date I've had exactly zero activity from the 6 friends&family with accounts in my circles and I've posted nothing for t

      • Pop quiz: what's the most popular desktop OS?

        Followup question: did you throw up in your mouth a little, at using the word "popular" to describe that OS' marketshare? That's not really an honest way of describe a default "choice," or a "choice" that people are railroaded into thanks to network effects, kicking and screaming, and yet it is technically accurate.

        No matter how Google+ got its users, it has them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      +1. At first, I wondered how Google+ had so many users. I signed up for an account just to check it out. Then I remember seeing the whole real name thing. This is PR and an attempt to resuscitate the social network.

    • Ah...I wondered why they were suddenly so keen to get my real name - I presumed it was simply integrating Google Accounts but using it to boost G+ figures makes a lot more sense. I would be on G+, but I don't sign up to any service which requires my real name without very good reason. If Google ever really need my real name it's right there in my Gmail address and a decades-worth of emails. They know where to find me when they change their minds.
      • I think they are really mis-representing numbers... I'm logged into, and use iGoogle as my home page (can't believe they are nuking it), and always have the G+ on the top-right toolbar on google sites. That said, I'm far from active on G+ itself... I don't mind the integrated user experience, I kind of wish, however, that I could bind multiple accounts (say a google apps account to my @gmail account), so that I don't have to log in/out to use them... and having them in the same gmail screen would be nice.
        • I change between multiple accounts all the time. The drop-down at the top-right of the screen lets you change which of your google accounts is active.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )
            Some Google services work only with what Google's help page calls the "default account", not the account that you have selected from the control you describe. To change the "default account", you have to log out of all Google services on a machine and then log back in with the account that you wish to use as the "default account". Open this page [] and find the phrase "Sign out of all your Google Accounts".
        • by ArtDent ( 83554 )

          I'm not sure about this third-party report, but Google actually reports separate numbers:

          - People who have Google+ profiles
          - People who use Google+ features every month (including via other Google products)
          - People who use the Google+ stream every month

          At the beginning of December, those numbers were 500 million, 235 million, and 135 million (source: []). Given that we're now almost two months on from then, this new number (343 million) c

    • Every few weeks when I log into YouTube it asks if I want to use my real name. Before I can actually get to YouTube I have to fill out why I do not. The graphics make it highly easy to switch to a real name and not so easy to opt out. Google does something similar with email accounts when you login. They want your cellphone number. The options to put it in are Big, Bright and In Your Face. The link to just go to your account is small enough you have to look at the screen for a second or two to see it

    • Judging by what I've seen of the ... ahem... youtube community, I would think they should be tricking youtube commenters OUT of google plus.
    • by Smauler ( 915644 )

      Not too long ago, YouTube asked me if I wanted to change my YouTube name to something else. I thought 'Sure, why not.'

      There's your problem.

      Why did you think "sure, why not"?

      Why didn't you think "why are they asking me to change my name"?

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
      I had no choice, if i wanted to post a comment on youtube, it made me become a G+ user. Still won't use it though, one friend went to G+ and was prosthelytising to convert me, but i resisted.
    • by mcvos ( 645701 )

      For me it was the other way around. It asked my if I wanted to use my G+ name for Youtube, so now I'm also a Youtube user.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      That's because there is no long a distinction between having a Google account and a G+ profile. They are the same thing, and Google's attempt to merge all its different site profiles into one started years ago.

      It isn't a trick, they just failed to explain it very well.

  • shouldn't orkut be on the list as well? I guess orkut would be 4th in that list, then the title should be
    "Google Now Boasts World's No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 Social Networks"
  • I wonder how they determined "active users," since these days its getting easier and easier for anyone with a GMail-based account to find themselves "using" Google+.

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      I wonder how they determined "active users,"

      You can google for this quite trivially, basically your definition of gmail, clicking +1 and stuff is the much bigger "somewhat under four hundred million" number from a couple months ago whereas the number of people actually making posts to their G+ stream is the somewhat smaller "well over one hundred ish million" number also a couple months out of date.

      Unless youtube has zero or negative number users, it would seem they're using the latter definition "people who actually post stuff to their G+ profile" a

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      you +1 something once a month, you're an active user

  • What do they mena by "active" users, anyway? Does anyone know?
    • It means you're actively wondering how they're counting you as an active G+ user after you only logged into YouTube.

  • by schneidafunk ( 795759 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:26PM (#42719103)
    How much money are they making?
  • hydrox (Score:2, Interesting)

    This is like saying that Hydrox is the #2 chocolate and cream cookie next to Oreo. It still sucks, and nobody likes it.
  • How many of them are spammers and phishers?

  • ... then Google+ might be the only relevant social networking site. Facebook, twitter, etc, are still mostly plugged up with people taking pictures of their (coffee / cat / car) or telling you which bathroom they are using this afternoon. Google+ actually has meaningful discussions.
    • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:39PM (#42719273)

      Google+ actually has meaningful discussions.

      FB/twitter for pics of dinner and smiling kids and babbling complaining and TV and sports discussion, G+ for hobbies.
      G+ has HUGE and active ham radio, and photography communities.

      • by Smauler ( 915644 )

        It's odd you present two obsolete things as being at the core of a new technology.

        I'm not saying anything against ham radio, or photography, but they are or have been in the process of being superseded. Artistically, photography will be around for a while, but good video is always better in terms of information. Ham radio is nothing compared to the internet, wi-fi broadcasting and wardriving.

      • by Abreu ( 173023 )

        Not to mention roleplaying games, cosplay and anime communities. A lot of good discussions too.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So you are saying Google+ is relevant to social networking the way C-SPAN2 is relevant to television.

    • Don't worry... G+ will get its eternal September if Facebook tanks.

  • by parallel_prankster ( 1455313 ) on Monday January 28, 2013 @04:40PM (#42719289)
    The more important matter is how much are they being used, especially to "socialize" as compared to facebook? I mean Google forces you to be a Google+ user pretty much if you use any of their services - Gmail, Picasa etc. What are the ad revenues on these services? What is the frequency of posts per user?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm in college. I have never been asked "Hey, what's your Google+ username?" In fact, I've never heard anyone ask that of anyone else. I don't even know if that's how Google+ works. I've never used it. And yet, I have at least two Google+ accounts thanks to Gmail and YouTube.

    • Yet somehow, after using multiple google products (including gmail and picasa) on a regular basis for well over 10 years, I still don't have a Google+ account. And I can still use all of those services just fine.
  • I'd say that's a bit far-fetched. But then again, this practice has been employed throughout the ages. If you're losing at a game, change the rules. (The rules being the definition of 'social network').
  • Define active. I've got a Google+ account, but rarely use it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    At least it doesn't automatically fuck around with your accounts across sites. I'm sure this scenario has happened to some of you FB users before:

    - See video on one of those "youtube with nudity allowed" sites such as dailymotion
    - "This video is not suitable for minors, please sign in to confirm your age"
    - "Hmm, okay, it'll be easier if I just use FB to log in instead of creating an account for a site I don't really care about."
    - Watch video o.o
    - Several hours later

  • Any one using any Google product, picasa, gmail, youtune, google apps, anything, are being roped in as google+ users.
  • "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second."

    The first race was actually for the "R.Y.S. £100 Cup", subsequently re-named "America's cup"

  • It doesn't count if you work for Google. That is the only people I really see there.

    Both my grammas are on Facebook, I didn't hear them saying they are thinking about opening a Google+ account.

    • At least one person uses it. Everytime I log onto it, I see a new post from that person. Which is fortunate, since he seems to be the only person who does.

  • I must be 3 or more of those people, I have a G-mail account for each Android device (tablet is multi-user, 1 phone is strictly for work and 1 phone is for private texts from my wife). As I recently changed services I noticed that I somehow became a G+ member just by signing up a new device. Can I really be counted as I don't participate?
    • Can I really be counted as I don't participate?

      If you read the article you would not be counted *unless* you participate hence the measure of active users.

  • And Facebook is #1 with 95% of the global populace. The other 5% who didn't use Facebook were nerds who spent all day telling everyone in various other forums how they don't use Facebook.
  • "herbert" left this :

    oh please, stop kidding yourselves. it's just because we are forced to login to use google services that they're getting the traffic. google plus is a turd!

    I thought plus was optional when signing up for an account, but I guess this has now changed?

  • Does having your pictures backed up to Google+ / Picasa count as being an active user? Cause if so, they've got a heavy skew in their numbers. The unlimited space for Picasa users is why I signed up. Now all my pics and home movies are backed up but I don't use any of the "social networking" part of it.
  • I have had a G+ account at least two or three times. I have deleted them every time, because they won't let me use the only name I am willing to use for social networking. "seebs" is my Real Name; it is not the name on my driver's license, but it is the name I commonly use in everyday life. According to their stated policies, I should be able to use it. But they don't do that, and a casual read of their forums reveals that a non-trivial number of people are having issues with the names thing...

    So when they

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.