Google Plus Surprises with Dramatic Growth

Google PlusChallenging the power of Facebook in the realm of social media is no easy task. Fortunately Google Plus as a platform has the mighty power (and resources) of Google behind it. Otherwise many people would have written it off completely – some did anyway. Recently however, Google Plus has been surging in numbers and is showing signs it may have what it takes to become as influential, if not more so, than Twitter and Facebook.

Google Plus on the Rise

Google has been traditionally limited in discussing the numbers behind Google Plus. Unlike Facebook, which flaunts its numbers as much as possible (I would too if I had a billion users), Google appears to not focus as much on their number of users.

But today, as Thomas Watkins writes on The Business Insider, “Google Plus is racking up large numbers of new users and continues to outpace Twitter as the world’s number two social network.” Even with all of the amazing changes that Twitter has made in recent weeks, Google Plus has somehow managed to grow faster.

Now it looks like there are close to 360 million active users on Google Plus. Thomas explains that this is a whopping 33 percent increase in users since June of last year. Users have been enjoying the unifying nature of Google’s services and Google Plus is becoming a more important part of that.

For businesses and agencies, focusing on Google Plus is not only smart social media use, but as Thomas quotes Claire Stokoe, a strong Google Plus account “is one of the factors that will help you rank high on Google.” Maybe it’s time to start focusing a bit more on your Google Plus page? It’s certainly worth thinking about.

Google Glass & Twitter Apps

If this rapid growth continues, Google Plus is going to be a serious competitor for Facebook in terms of reaching audiences and users. Google has a potentially game-changing product on the horizon: Google Glass.

Glass is important because it brings together for a user all of Google’s product and social media offerings. Google Plus is key to its functioning, and if Glass is a hit with millions of people, Facebook is going to have a hard time competing. Even a former executive at Facebook has said in an article by Nicholas Carlson on BI, that “he’s worried Facebook is getting lost in incremental “feature creep” – and that it should be focusing on “ground-breaking new products.””

In the long run, Google Plus could become a much more salient platform for customers. Even Twitter is making sure it has a hold in Glass with an official app. They don’t want to miss out on the potential for Glass to go mainstream.

Looking Forward

For businesses and agencies, as of right now at least, Facebook is still able to reach the most people, but one shouldn’t ignore Google Plus – it has a lot to offer. It really is on pace to become even more useful to users and businesses alike. It can’t hurt to get started if you haven’t already, and I think businesses and agencies should really be keeping an eye on Google Plus for the remainder of 2013 to see how much more it grows and how well Glass is adopted by the mainstream public.

Is Google Plus going to surpass Facebook in usefulness for users, businesses, and agencies? What do you think?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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