Google+ is the weirdest social network there is. When it was launched last summer the Internet world was atwitter (so to speak).
Afraid of being left behind, people rushed to get on board the new new thing. So it grew at a ridiculously fast rate. And it now has 90 million users. But how many of them are actually active on Google+?
Because I signed on last July, and still none of my clients are on Google+. And very few of my friends are there either. I estimate maybe 10 or 15% of my Facebook friends are on it. And of that number, less than a handful are actually active.
Who’s on Google+?
As far as I can tell, the vast majority of heavy G+ users are in social media and Internet marketing for a living. And they hail the platform as only slightly less indispensable than oxygen. Moreover, they spend a ton of time mocking Facebook, saying it’s gone the way of MySpace and predicting its certain death, along with Twitter and every other social media site.
It’s like they have a vested interest in seeing it succeed.
When you look at all the features Google+ has to offer and its ease of use and integration across other Google properties, it all makes logical sense. This should be the platform that everyone is not only migrating to but is making a regular part of their daily life.
But whenever I talk to people — regular people, not Internet people — they sigh and complain about having one more social media site to keep up with. And those who join do so reluctantly and, like I said, barely participate.
Meanwhile, Users Flock to Pinterest
Contrast that with Pinterest, which is absolutely blasting off. Among the many statistics cited, this one stands out especially:
American users of the social network spend an average of one hour and 17 minutes on the site, well ahead of Twitter (36 minutes), LinkedIn (17 minutes), and Google+ (six minutes). (via AllTwitter)
So people are not only flocking to Pinterest, they’re diving in and getting involved. And it sure doesn’t seem like they’re doing so reluctantly. Not like being dragged to the dentist’s office, which the Google+ experience seems to resemble.
Now I have some issues with Pinterest — mostly having to do with intellectual property. People there just blithely pin stuff without regard to (or often knowledge of) who owns it. I’ve been careful with my own pinning, but when I repin I find lots of unsourced images. So who knows where that’s going?
Dessert vs. Vegetables
But I will tell you this: Pinterest is fun, it’s easy, and it’s so completely different from other platforms out there. Maybe that’s the problem with Google+ — it just seems like Facebook for business people. Or a more visual twitter. Or a more exciting LinkedIn.
I have little doubt that the imminent singularity of the Googleverse will eventually encompass us all. But wouldn’t it be nice if we were all going there willingly, and with enthusiasm?
- Pinterest Users Can’t Stop Pinning (currenteditorials.com)
- PIN THIS! How Pinterest is *Not Really* Kicking Ass for Me Personally (uber.la)
- Privacy, Privacy, Pinterest (womma.org)