Sunday, June 29, 2014

What is Google+?

Are you a “techie” or just an ordinary user of the World Wide Web. Most of us have Facebook accounts. But do you know that Google+ is just like Facebook, that is, a social networking site. In fact, Google+ is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook, owned and operated by Google Inc. Not only a social networking, it is also an identity service provider, which used to establish a mapping from a person’s online identity to their real life identity to prevent spamming, harassment and scams.

Google has described Google+ as a "social layer" that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author. 540 million monthly active users are part of the Identity service site, by interacting socially with Google+'s enhanced properties, like Gmail, +1 button, and YouTube comments. In October 2013, Google counted 540 million active users who used at least one Google+ service, of which 300 million users are active in "the stream". In a 2013 survey, 30% of surveyed smartphone users used the Google Plus app at least once a month.  

Google launched the Google+ service as an invitation-only "field test" on June 28, 2011, but soon suspended early invites due to an "insane demand" for new accounts. On August 6, each Google+ member had 150 invitations to give out until September 20, 2011, when Google+ opened to everyone 18 years of age or older without the need for an invitation. Before the launch, Google referred to Google+ as Google Circles, a name alluding to its emphasis on organising friendship information. Google+ is considered the company's fourth foray into social networking, following Google Buzz (launched 2010, retired in 2011), Google Friend Connect (launched 2008, retired by March 1, 2012) and Orkut (launched in 2004, as of 2013 operated entirely by subsidiary Google Brazil).

During its private beta, Google+ grew to 10 million users after its first two weeks. In a month, it reached 25 Million. In October 2011, the service reached 40 million users, according to Larry Page. Based on ComScore, the largest market was the United States followed by India. After nearly three months of operation, it reached 50 million users, whereas other social networking sites such as Twitter 1,096 days to reach that level; Facebook 1,325 days; and LinkedIn 2,354 days . By the end of the year Google+ had 90 million users.

There are currently 540 million monthly active users across Google Properties and 300 Million active in the Google + Stream. Google+ user base is roughly 60% male and 25% female as of November 2013. The remainder are "Other" or unknown.

Social Media Statistics

  • Facebook now has over 1.15 billion users
  • Twitter now has over 550 million registered users and 215 million monthly active users
  • Google+ now has over 1 billion enabled accounts and 359 million active monthly users
  • YouTube has over one billion monthly active users

A Google+ User profile is a public visible account of a user that is attached to many Google properties. It includes basic social networking elements like a profile photo, about section, background photo, previous work and school history, interests, places lived and an area to post status updates. It also includes several identity service sections, such as a contributor and other profiles area that let one link their "properties across the web". These section optionally link to other social media accounts one has, any blogs one owns or have written or sites one is a contributor to. This area is used for Google Authorship.

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