Social networking sites may be the most popular Internet trend of the last five years. Almost everyone uses some form of social networking, be it Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or YouTube. Although social media sites were once considered trendy, it has become clear that these sites are more than just a passing trend. Social media sites will be shaping the evolution of the Internet for many years to come. Every day, social networking sites get more and more integrated with the rest of the Internet, as well as third-party apps on smart phones. Social media sites have also become a large component in the marketing plans of most businesses and a factor in the search rankings of a website.
When discussing the social web, Facebook is usually the first site that comes up in the conversation. It seems to be the most popular, and is most definitely the social media site that is the most integrated with third-party apps and smart phones. And it’s true, if you look at the numbers, Facebook is still the number one most used social networking site. However, you may be surprised to find that Google+ currently comes in at a close second.
But, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google+ is second only to Facebook in the world of social media. Although Google+ has not been around as long as Facebook, it is growing at an astounding rate. Google+ has over 300 million active users, and managed to accumulate this amount of active users in under 18 months. Interestingly, it took Facebook six years to reach 300 million active users. So, while Facebook may have more active users than Google+ does right now, at this rate of growth, Google+ may soon be the number one social media site.
Another factor that will play into the future growth of Google+ is Google’s powerful online presence. Many browsers come with the Google search page as the homepage, and this page also has a link to other Google services, including Google+. Also, Google currently owns YouTube, operates an email client, a search engine, a map application and a calendar app. And those services are just the tip of the iceberg. Google has integrated Google+ with the rest of their services, which should encourage more people to become active Google+ users. Also, Google frequently unveils new services and applications, all of which will probably be linked with Google+. So, even if some consumers don’t find Google’s current services appeal, it seems likely that some of these people will be drawn in by future Google applications. Thus, Google+ seems poised to continue at its current rate of growth, or perhaps surpass it entirely.