SiliconFilter

Come On Google, Show Us Some Real Google+ User Numbers Already

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Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that things aren't looking so great for Google+. According to data from comScore, Google+'s users spend just about 3 minutes per month on the site. On Facebook, that number is closer to six or seven hours per month. Google itself, however, has never provided anybody with any useful data about the service and – at worst – is just using deliberately misleading information to provide the press with big numbers that look good but are absolutely meaningless.

100 Million "Active" Users?

In January, for example the company's CEO Larry Page said that the site had 90 million users at that time and that "+users are very engaged with our products — over 60% of them engage daily, and over 80% weekly." That, however, was a pretty misleading statement. While it may sound that Page was saying that 60% of Google+ users come back to Google+ every day, his argument was simply that 60% of those users who signed up for Google+ also use any other Google+ service on a daily basis. Those numbers said absolutely nothing about the engagement Google+ is seeing from its users.

Today, Google's VP for engineering Vic Gundotra – in what is clearly a reaction to the WSJ piece – talked to the New York Times' Nick Bilton and once again used the same kind of tactic. "On a daily basis, 50 million people who have created a Google Plus account actively use the company’s Google Plus-enhanced products, Mr. Gundotra said. Over a 30-day period, he said, that number is 100 million active users." Google+, of course, is now part of virtually every other Google product, including search, which most of the company's users probably use on a daily basis without ever trying to actively engage with the company's social network.

Nice, Meaningless Numbers

Google is obviously trying to paint a nice picture here by using large numbers that, at the end of the day, say nothing about Google+ and how engaged its users are. Maybe things are great at Google+ and it has a huge, highly active community (though most of us aren't seeing it in our own accounts). The problem with this is that unless Google provides us with any concrete data, it just looks as if the company has something to hide.



1:56 pm


Hulu Now Has 1.5 Million Paying Subscribers, Promises to Invest $500 Million in Content in 2012

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Hulu just released its year-end data for 2011 and the numbers are pretty good. The streaming video company, which mostly focusses on recent TV shows, made about $420 in revenue lat year. This is up 60% from last year and exceeded the company's own projections. Its paid service, Hulu Plus, now has 1.5 million subscribers and the number of paying subscribers continues to grow.

According to the company's own data, the number of new subscribers it attracts every day is currently double the number it attracted last year. If this trend continues, Hulu will likely have close to 2.5 million subscribers by this time next year.

Maybe most importantly for current subscribers, Hulu also expects to invest "approximately half a billion in content in 2012." This – hopefully – means that the service's lineup of shows will continue to expand. Given that the traditional cable and broadcasting networks continue to be weary of Hulu and similar online services, it remains to be seen what effect this money will have on the content offerings on the service (especially if they decide to jack up their prices).

 



2:48 pm


Report: The Rumors of Google+’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

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It seems, the rumors of Google+’s death have been greatly exaggerated. According to new data from Hitwise, Google just recorded its 3rd biggest week since launch. Traffic is up 25% from last month and 5% from last week. Unsurprisingly, Google+’s best weeks with regard to overall visits came right after the site opened up its door to all users at the end of September.

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The growth in traffic over the last week is likely due to the launch of the Google+ Pages for brands and publishers. This clearly drove renewed interest in the service. Maybe even more importantly, though, Hitwise also found that Google+ users are now sticking around, as the number of returning visitors increased by 18% in the first two weeks of November compared to the same timeframe in October. Indeed, Hitwise found that almost three quarters (74%) of all traffic to Google+ came from returning visitors.

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Hitwise also found that Google+ profits greatly from being promoted on other Google properties. Gmail and YouTube, for example, account for 16% and 5.5% of all referral traffic to the site, while Google itself accounts for a bit more than 45.5%.

That’s Not What a Dying Service Looks Like

Ever since its launch, the Google+ team had to deal with numerous reports that traffic to the site was slowing down and that the service was basically dead already (something I never saw on my own stream, which seems to be active 24×7 and which gets more reactions than anything I post on Twitter). While Google would probably like to see a faster influx of new users to the service, this new data from Hitwise clearly shows that things are actually looking up for Google+ right now.



9:37 pm


How Many Users Does Google+ Really Have? 9,460,000

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Google has been rather coy about sharing exact user numbers for its new social network Google+. Answer.com’s Paul Allen has been using an interesting statistical model to estimate the number of current users based on an analysis of the percentage of uncommon surnames he has found on the service. In his estimate, there should be about 10 million users on the service today. Now, it looks like there could be an easier way to discern the number of Google+ users, though. Jonathan Nelson, the founder of Google+ community site GooglePlusAnswers.com, argues that a simple Google search query could give us a pretty accurate user count without having to resort to complicated statistical models. (more…)



1:09 am