AH Tech Talk: It Looks Like There Are A Lot Less Google+ Users Then We All Thought


If you are a Google+ user, then chances are that you quite like the service. Personally, not a Facebook user, not to mention only a semi-Twitterer. But Google+, on the other hand, feels different. If you are a Google+ user then maybe you feel the same. That said, numbers don't lie (much) and generally do (at the very least) give insight into the state of affairs from time to time. On this occasion, those numbers are telling a very unfortunate story for Google+ and its lack of an active user base.

It seems only four to six million people are currently using Google+. Now, that is a big number on its own, but certainly not when you factor, how many are using other social networks. Even more so, when you factor that this is Google and there are reportedly somewhere in the region of 2.2 billion Google accounts. With that kind of pull, you would expect more than what is effectively 0.3% to be using the service. Of course, you cannot just fire out numbers like that without giving some background. So here we go.


A data study carried out by Edward Mobius found that of the 2.2 billion Google profiles only 9% of those had posted some form of public content. What Mobius refers to as 'active' users of G+. What's more, is the data Mobius based the conclusions on, suggest of that nine percent, 45% was simply YouTube comments (37) and changes to profile pics (8%). It gets worse though. Of that 9%, only 6% have posted any content so far in 2015 (think of these as the 'active in 2015' users). For clarification, this is noted as being the first 18 days of January. As we have already established YouTube comments seem to be the main single Google+ posting (remember 37% of the 9% of people) and this seems to be even more the case with the 'active in 2015' users. According to Mobius, only about half of the active in 2015 (6%) users are non-YouTube posters. Again, according to Mobius that equates to 0.3% of all Google+ profiles. Hence the main finding. In number terms, is about 6.6 million. If you need a visual aid, then Kevin Anderson provided the neat image below to highlight the level of Google+ usage based on Mobius's results.

So there you go! It seems only 6.6 million people actively use G+ and who do not use it for YouTube comments. That said, there are some caveats we should be aware of. Firstly, as already mentioned, this is only based on the first 18 days of the year. Is that enough for a true cross-reference of Google+? Could January deflate (or even inflate) those numbers as it is somewhat of a holiday month? Not to mention, Mobius also does note, that these figures do not include any private comments/posts being sent and as such this is only a public post/comment analysis. How much do we think private messages could account for? A lot? Virtually nothing? Lastly, some critics will want to know exactly what the sample number was. We all know that a sample size of ten can produce far different results to a sample size of 2.2 billion. Well, according to the post by Mobius, the total number of Google+ posts analyzed was 21,126. If you want to read his post in full then you can by clicking the source link below. Interestingly, Mobius has also kindly provided detailed instructions on how to replicate his findings, so that you can see if your results differ from his. In the meantime, leave a comment and let us know what you think of these findings and their implications. Oh wait, this will probably be going out on Google+ and no one uses that.


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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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