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.
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.
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