Back in July, when Google+ was first released to the lucky users who were able to get an invite, it was met with a lot of fanfare. Considered the first real threat to Facebook’s social media dominance, Google+ was instantly popular, accumulating 20 million visitors in its first month.
But Google still has a lot to learn about sustaining that initial burst of enthusiasm. Since that first month, visitors have continued to drop off the social network, as Google+ attracted only 1.1 million visitors just a few weeks ago.
Since that time, though, Google+ has decided to open its doors to everyone, removing its invite-only registration process and reaping the benefits. Last week, the social network experienced a 13-fold spike in traffic (to 15 million), a 1,269 percent increase in market share growth, and analyst Paul Allen believes that Google+ may already be at 50 million users while acquiring 2 million new users each day.
So that makes it official – Google+ is back on everyone’s radar. It comes at an ideal time, as Facebook has recently caught heat for its slew of new updates. This is nothing new for the world’s biggest social network, as it seems nearly every update they make is met with a certain level of animosity. The catch is that it’s never led to a mass exodus by Facebook’s users.
What does this mean for Google+ then? Can they capitalize on the surge in interest? It’s obvious at this point that Facebook isn’t going anywhere, not with their recent partnerships with a number of companies and the abuse the public doesn’t seem to mind taking from unpopular updates and privacy controls that, historically, have been lacking.
It’s no longer about erasing Facebook from the minds of the public, because that’s not happening. Based on its short history, Google certainly has no problem getting people to check out its social network. Keeping them interested has been the problem.
With the biggest search engine and a variety of great products at their disposal, Google+ can compete with Facebook. It’s all about finding the right formula for making that happen. Google was on the right track with features like Circles and Hangouts, so it can be done. And with the competition heating up between the two social networks, it will be interesting to see what happens down the road.