INTERNET SEARCH GIANT Google has lost over 60 per cent of its active users on its social network Google+, according to a report by Chitika Insights, raising questions about how well it is doing against its rival, Facebook.
Google+ was originally invite only, generating significant interest as all and sundry attempted to join what many believed would be the next social networking craze. This frenzy continued when Google opened the doors to its social network to everyone on 20 September. This resulted in a massive influx of new members, with traffic growing by a whopping 1,200 per cent.
However, despite the clear interest in an alternative to Facebook, it does not appear that the people joining are staying around and actively using the web site. On 22 and 23 of September traffic appeared to peak on Google+, but it began to drop soon after, back to pretty much the same level it was before it opened to the public.
Google's problem is not getting users in the first place, it seems, but rather keeping them after they have arrived. For now it appears that a lot of users are merely curious about Google+, but return to the tried and tested format of Facebook when the lustre fades.
Chitika Insights argues that, despite this lack of staying power, Google+ could still become a competitive alternative to Facebook, providing it continues with its fast pace of adding new features. The problem is that Facebook is not going to rest on its laurels while Google attempts to get the advantage. Already it has added features inspired by Google+, particularly in terms of improving the transparency of its privacy options.
While the jury is still out on which firm will win this battle, there's no denying that the intense competition could make both social networks considerably better than they were before. µ