back to article Facebook now has 1,000 times the referrals of Google+

The amount of activity on Google+ is falling, according to the latest data from web monitoring firm NetApplications, with Facebook massively ahead of the competition. The data showed that Google+ was outpaced not only by Facebook, but also sites like YouTube, Reddit and LinkedIn. While Google+ is still relatively news to the …


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  1. Cyberspice


    As I'm really not keen on Facebook or its (lack of) privacy I though that Google+ would be ideal for me. And it was for about two months until the 'real name' police caught up with me. So I killed my account. Google doesn't seem to realise that they can get people transfer from Facebook if they provide a service that addresses privacy issue that Facebook has. Unfortunately they seem to be just copying Facebook and why would someone use a copy Facebook if there's Facebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How's Google+ gonna help with privacy?

      Do you really believe that going from a company that mostly collects information you post within their website to another that tracks your searches, ads you see all over the web and probably all your e-mail (if you use Gmail) is going to be better?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How innovative, yawn

    Multiple administrator for a business page, that's true innovation right there, oh wait Facebook has had it for ages. How can you have it any other way.. only in Google's Willy Wonka world, really.

    Seems the biggest use of Google+ is to discuss Google+.

    Don't bet the farm on it guys, go back to making your other services great - not just tentacles of G+. You'll regret it bitterly otherwise.

  3. Martin Lyne

    If Google gave £500 to sites to add a G+ share button, that might help. I either rarely see them or have developed a blindspot.

    1. Andy Fletcher

      You need a button?

      First up, the button is awful - it'll slow your sites' pageload times dramatically. Given that the Big G told us lasy years pageload is now a ranking factor, webmasters are worrying about it.

      Second up - I know how to +1 a page without the site owner adding a button and I'd imagine the majority of Google+ users do as well - there aren't many of us, but the proportion of people with at least some technical skill is most likely exponentially larger than FB.

  4. ChrisInAStrangeLand

    I was using Google+ for a couple of weeks before the robots decided I couldn't use my nickname. Violates some sort of policy, or whatnot. Google experiment purged, back to Facebook.

  5. The Taft Hotel

    "While Google+ is still relatively news[sic] to the social networking game, its data is no longer rising, but falling away."

  6. turnip handler

    Corporate users only??

    I wonder if Google+ will end up mainly used as a social framework for Google App Corporate users. All other Enterprise platforms offer some sort of Facebook like application so Google has to do the same.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Willing to bet...

    I'm willing to bet that the data collected by the data collection only goes by publicly shared data.

    Google+ is likely being used as it was intended and that's sharing with circles instead of publicly. I know that's how I'm using it any how.

  8. Richard 45
    Thumb Down

    Let me see...

    On The Register's sites, Share, and look, no G+ option. Whoops!

  9. Paul 135

    No doubt Google will use Microsoft-style tactics to bully users onto Google+ by the forced integration of it through Android 4.0.

    Personally, another proprietary social network is the last thing I need, especially if it lets Google get its beady eyes on more of my data.

    There is one way that Google could win the war of the social networks in a respectable way - this would be if Google were to support a truly open peer2peer social network that allowed you to install a small PHP/MySQL application on your own server and host your own data. I see there is one that attempts to do this called "Diaspora", but the geeks managing it don't look too competent or experienced. A big company like Google weighing in could make all the difference.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How many years head-start has FB had over G+..??

  11. supervan

    Here we go again

    This drop in activity is normal; everything ‘new’ will suffer this same fate. Think long term. At least as many people that use FB must be using one or more Google services, which if they have an account will mean they will be using G+, even if they don’t know it. As people learn how to use it and the great control it gives them, they will use it more and more.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Superior but late

    Everything I've seen of Google+ makes me think it is superior to Facebook (particularly speed of operation, and contact grouping)

    However the people I want to communicate with use Facebook so at the very least I need to keep that account and the chances of me actually bothering to update a second social media site are slim.

    Personally I don't care for any of it much but my use of it is decided by other people.

  13. Bob Terwilliger

    Real Names v Aliasssessses

    If Google plus want to differentiate itself, perhaps it can implement aliases.

    They understand that people have different circles of friends with differing levels of access.

    OK , fine +1 to Google Plus compared to Facebooks boolean default stalker heaven.

    But it's strange that they don't seem to understand that people may wish to show a different name online in different situations.

    If the alias is linked to the "Real Name" they still get the precious precious data that they need.

  14. Minophis

    Unfortunately superiotrity is not the deciding factor.

    @AC 13:45

    Couldn't agree more. I have a G+ account and much prefer it to FB. It is more flexible in contact grouping, cleaner and less cluttered and the privacy settings don't mutate into something incomprehensible every 5 minutes.

    Unfortunately that doesn't matter because the vast majority of my friends and family are on FB and they aren't eager to migrate to G+ because the vast majority of their friends and family are on, well you get the idea.

    Migration from a social network (especially one with such a vast user base as FB) is tricky and will happen slowly if at all.

    I even tried Diaspora which has a feel and contact groupings very similar to G+ but it looks like that is going nowhere.

  15. This Side Up

    Innovate. Don't copy.

    Google, find something new to do and let Facebook do what it does best. There are some areas where competition works, and some where everyone has to be inside the same tent.

    1. Andy Fletcher

      No....Imitate and Improve

      As far as I know, Google have never innovated. Google wasn't the first search engine. Youtube wasn't the first video sharing/streaming site and they sure as hell didn't invent e-mail, office applications, operating systems or anything else.

      I couldn't give a fig who's social network site is top dog, but I garuntee no-one will ever hold that slot forever.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      That's exactly what they did - they innovated the social networking paradigm.

      And did a much better job than that POS Facebook.

      If people stay on FB that's fine, however I fail to understand how even people who understand the failings of FB security still use FB... I won't touch it with a barge pole!!! It is insane!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    should improve youtube

    For a start, Google + is a silly name. Google is a search engine, Google Mail isn't a great name, but the mail part at least tells you what it is. Whoever came up with 'Google +' and thought this was a good name for a social network is an idiot. It's line extension of the worst kind.

    What Google should have done is improved the closest thing it had to a high volume social space where people hang out - YouTube - and just made the channel system work much better. They already have a market leader there, why not add in the Google plus features there to improve the user account experience?

    I live overseas and set up a channel on YouTube to put up vids of my daughter growing up for the folks back home. The video upload is great, but there are things that suck really badly. I either have to make each vid public, or if private, I have to individually specify each time I upload a video who can view it. And YouTube doesn't even have anyway for me to set default preferences for things like 'no comments allowed' and so on, so I have to set it each time I upload a video. If you have a channel, surely these kind of account preferences should be available?

    If Google simply improved YouTube channels, added in the kind of social networking things they're doing in Google+, they'd have the millions of users already there wasting time using them instead of wasting time at FB. Far easier than trying to pull people away from those to get them into some brand new product with a bland name and image that nobody really wants.

    1. I Like Heckling

      it's easy

      Upload the video to G+ and simply share it with a circle... if your family and friends want to view them, they already have a G+ account if they have a youtube one.

  17. John Styles

    Easy way to improve take up

    "Dear X,

    we know what you've been searching for. We know the names and email addresses of your spouse, boss, father, priest, if we find you have been using Facebook instead of our social network, I think you can guess what's going to happen,


  18. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Point of the report?

    Given that FB is preparing for an IPO (before the SEC forces it to go public with its accounts) I suspect we're likely to see more and more of these kind of reports in the run up. Whether FB's PR department is involved or not - the media has a vested interest in hyping the IPO and, therefore, reporting every fucking rumour they can find.

    Back to the numbers - what are the "referrals"? Are they real referrals or the tracking "like" shit? I increasingly think that Google isn't after the FB volume, preferring to see what "discerning" users are up to and the self-selection of Circles is very clever if you can see beyond the data warehouse aspect.

  19. Esskay

    Horses for Courses

    Unfortunately for Google, G+'s circles effectively remove one of the biggest reasons for joining facebook - vanity.

    Since Facebook appears to see most activity from the type of people who update their status with vague, dramatic, attention-seeking crap ("OMG my life is over.." etc), Facebook's success IMHO is at least in part due to the ability to broadcast these messages to world + dog, whilst at the same time allowing the attention seeking wanker to convince themselves that all 1100 people they've "added" on facebook (including that person that smiled at them once last week) are, indeed, their friends.

    Google+ more or less requires users to sort everyone into groups and thus evaluate who they're adding - meaming that people start to wonder whether they really need to add someone to *another* social network when they haven't spoken to them since primary school - and I'm sure the other person might feel the same way.

    I use G+ for a small group of close friends and family (since I can easiy choose what to show people on a case-by-case basis, family doesn't get to see all the random shit the friends see). Although it'd be good to see more of my mates on there, it feels more like a quiet group conversation rather than shouting information to a crowd - like having dinner in a quiet restaurant rather than a big night in a pub. Sometimes that's what I want. (of course, the alternative is to actually go out to dinner and see them, but that's not always possible).

  20. Justin Clements

    Beginning of the end

    Said this from the start, endured many red thumbs down, and I'll say it again, G+ will eventually fail.

    Facebook has the critical mass of users which G+ will never get. G+ is not worthwhile whilst the majority of your established friends are still using Facebook, and simply promoting yourself as "We're not Facebook" simply isn't good enough for people to make the switch.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    quality over quantity

    I have deactivated my FB account and just use GooglePlus these days. The quality of content there is so much better.

    Facebook just seems to be full of idiots and friend collectors.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are only so many techies in the world.

    All the techies have now tried Google+. Some have stuck around, while some left, having got hacked off with "real name" or just the lack of people on there.

    As for the 90% of normal people, all their friends are in Facebook, thanks, so Google+ has no relevance to them, and never will -- hardly rocket science to predict that that would happen.

  23. Stefing


    The Guardian's Charles Arthur probably has 1,000 times as many readers as The Register, that doesn't mean The Register should shut up shop.

    (Charles Arthur should definitely shut up though)

  24. Terry 13

    I'm surprised... is only 1,000 times. I thought it would be more than that.

  25. JDX Gold badge

    Google should just have bought FB at 100m users, or whenever it was clearly taking off. Just like they did with YouTube.

  26. toadwarrior

    Google+ is ok

    Google+ is ok but there is nothing exciting about it. Why would anyone want to move away from FB where all their friends are?

    Sure FB collects a ton of info on you but Google will do the same and given Google's history why risk trying to build up a profile there only to have Google+ shut down a year from now.

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