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Opinion: With results like these, does Google+ have a future?


Following a report back in July showing that Google+ gets only 2 percent of social sharing, new figures from Shareaholic (via Marketing Land) reveal that the service drives an average of 0.06 percent of all referral traffic. This contrasts with Facebook at 8.11 percent, Pinterest at 3.24 and Twitter at a surprisingly low 1.17.

Google+ traffic is also growing at a far slower rate than other social media.

Shareaholic also says that Google+ is growing the slowest as a referral source at just 6.97 percent over the past year. Referrals from Facebook (58.81 percent), Pinterest (66.52 percent), Twitter (54.12 percent) and YouTube (52.86 percent) all grew more than 50 percent since September 2012.

Viewed against a backdrop of Google’s aggressive promotion of the service, making it virtually impossible not to have a G+ account by linking it to every product the company has, it does make me question whether Google+ has a long-term future … 

Google clearly desperately wants to have a social presence – it has persisted with efforts to push the service despite lacklustre results. It’s not that Google+ is without its fans. A lot of techies like it. But mass-market consumers don’t appear interested.

The obscurity of the service has prompted a number of lampoons to go viral … on other social media sites.





Google has in the past demonstrated a willingness to kill other products that didn’t achieve the levels of popularity it sought. Google Reader, iGoogle, Google Buzz, Google Wave, Google Health, Google Answers, Google Page Creator … the list is a long one. Were Google not so keen to be active in the social space, G+ would have joined them long ago.

Google+ survives for one reason and one reason only: Google really, really wants it. But if a company with the marketing clout and determination of Google can’t persuade consumers to use the service, there surely has to come a point when – however much Google might wish it otherwise – G+ has to be written-off as a failed experiment?

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