Google Plus engagement seems to have slowed down significantly after the excitement post-launch died off. Now with the service being measured against other social media networks, it seems the Google social offering is not doing so well after all. Data from research firm comScore suggests that Google+ visitors spent an average of three minutes per month on the site between September 2011 and January 2012 while Facebook visitors spent six to seven hours each month.
Google+ is however barely out of its wrapping having only launched 8 months ago but these new numbers paint a rather bleak picture in light of other social media services. Some may argue that Twitter only exploded after being in two years of operation but the rationale does not hold as it may be argued that people did not quite know what social media is until Facebook came along.
Google Plus exists now in a world where almost everyone knows what social media is and has some form of social media interaction. Google does not seem too concerned as the Google Plus team feels the service is growing in all the metrics that matter. Google may have been trying to jump the gun with the service by trying to upend other social media services Twitter and Facebook and this may have been what has put a dent in their growth.
Consider that the search giant launched the services as a Facebook/ Twitter alternative and this meant that when people landed on the site only to find a different version of what they were already using, the incentive to stick around disappeared.
I also think Google needs to simplify the service a bit more or even better yet, integrate with Facebook in what may be the biggest social media move in history. This sort of merger would offer users an opportunity to grow their networks seamlessly across networks. This would be especially great for those of us who use all three services for very different things.