It emerged a few weeks ago that Facebook has grown to the size that the entire internet was in 2004. Royal Pingdom has assembled a series of statistics that plot the size of Facebook as of October 2011. The site now has 800 million active users (users who have logged in the last 30 days). Facebook also has more active members than most countries have internet users, europe having just over half the amount of users that Facebook has globally. Royal Pingdom’s statistics also suggest that only India and China have bigger populations physically than Facebook has digitally.
So loads of people use Facebook but . Google + however, which was heralded as the next big thing in social media terms when it became widely available a few months ago, seems to have died a bit of a death. I know that I’ve posted on it once the day I signed up and haven’t used it since. Creative agency Skinny have written an interesting article on how adverts, banners and brand pages could work on Google + better than on Facebook. They explain that through public circles users would not be bombarded with content they don’t want to see because they could sign up to brand and product specific content. Google + brand pages could be the answer to boosting users that the platform desperately needs because they would engage the user more accurately than Facebook. Skinny also highlights how important Google Adwords is for the Google’s search engine and how vital it could be for Google +. They could incorporate paid for and non-paid for search options into their brand pages which would make searches a lot more relevant and dynamic. The way in which this could work is currently not used on either Facebook or Twitter.
Google + is also trying to shift its branding away from being just another social networking platform and more of a website to access all of Google’s online products. Soon Google plans to merge its blogging platform blogger, youtube, gmail and google + platforms so they can all be used in sync with one log in. This also means programmes such as google docs, google analytics Maps and google calendars would also be completely synced through google +.
If Google + does accomplish this move away from being seen as direct competitor for Facebook It will still have the problem of selling very similar digital advertising space as its bigger counterpart. Google + would arguably be a better platform for brand pages and adverts to be designed for as opposed to facebook. User pages can be customised more fully than on Facebook which would make the ads more interesting and engrossing. Because google + will run seamlessly with google analytics ads would be better monitored on + much more accurately than on other social media sites. Because all brand pages on Facebook must have the domain name of facebook.com/… they generally have a lower click through rate from terms being searched on google (the search engine that has 60% of the market share and represent 80% of all search activity). Google + could capitalise on this and make Google + brand pages a lot easier to find through searching google.
Mashable.com tasked Fantasy Interactive to mock up some Brand pages for Google +. Their efforts were as streamlined and as slick looking as Google + generally is but they are also synced up with Google maps and other google online programmes.
you can sign up for Google plus here.