While Google's social network Google+ may have accumulated over 90 million users since its launch in June 2011, its members are far less engaged than those on rival social network Facebook, according to a new study by comScore published in the Wall Street Journal on February 28.
The study found that while Google+ may have a sizeable user base, those users are not spending much time on the site.
On average, between last September and January, the study found that users of Google+ spent a mere three minutes per month on the site. In comparison, each of Facebook's 800 million plus users spent a whopping six to seven hours a month on average on the world's largest social network.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Google Vice President of Product Management Bradley Horowitz was keen to avoid comparisons between Facebook and Google+, stating that the site acts "as an auxiliary to Google services such as Gmail and YouTube by adding a 'personal' social-networking layer on top of them."
This "social networking layer" approach can be seen in the way Google encourages internet users to join the service. Unlike signing up Facebook, which requires users to go purposely to the site, users of Google services such as search, Gmail, or YouTube are encouraged to join Google + by the presence of a '+' appearing when they use these services.
According to a December 28 report by Nielsen, in terms of average unique visitors per month in 2011, Google, as a whole, was the most popular site in the United States, followed by Facebook and Yahoo!. However, the Nielsen report also found that in terms of just social networking sites, Facebook came out on top, followed by Blogger, Twitter and WordPress.
The information from comScore can be found on the Wall Street Journal at: http://goo.gl/gDFGj