When Google+ was launched, users were pretty receptive, to say the least. After Experian Hitwise reported a 3% decrease in traffic, the site went on to become the fastest growing in history. Today, a new report from Hitwise (via Bloomberg) shows the social network may struggle to catch up to 750 million+ strong Facebook.
While users spent an average of 5 minutes and 47 seconds on the service the week ending on August 27 (a 4% increase from the week before), U.S. visits to the site fell 5.5 percent to 1.6 million. The real story here is the fact that use of Google+ seems to have peaked backed in July.
July 16th seen the average time spent on the service peak at 5 minutes and 50 seconds, while U.S. visits to the site were up 283 percent that week. It’s necessary to note that these numbers can’t be taken as a truly accurate reflection of the service’s growth.
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Experian Hitwise’s research doesn’t include mobile users, and more importantly the times users accessed the service from the black Google menu bar. These users are certainly accounting for a fair share of growth and mobile users, in our opinion, should probably be included in these stats. As Google+ integration rolls out to more and more apps and services, actual visits to the site may not translate to an accurate depiction of how much it’s functionality is being used.