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YouGov Survey: Google+ on Way to Become Number Two Social Network in 12 Months

A Bloomberg/YouGov survey of 1,003 online adults found that Google+ is on a trajectory to surpass other social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. YouGov projects that Google+ will become the number two network after Facebook, “in the next year.”

According to Michael Nardis, Head of YouGov Investment Products, “Google+ is starting off extremely strong. It’s chipping away at engagement levels on Facebook and Twitter. With Google reporting 25 million accounts already and an estimated 16MM more US adults reporting that they plan to join over the coming year, Google+ can be a threat to both.”

Already 13% of adult Internet users in the US have signed up for a Google+ account with another 9% planning to sign up in the next 12 months. One of the reasons is the high engagement rates among existing members:

  • 45% of users report reading content once a day or more (only Facebook’s 62% is higher among social networks)
  • 46% of Google+ users report creating content (e.g., creating updates; posting links) at least once a week. This is on par with Twitter (42%) – which focuses on easy content creation

The survey also suggests that Google+ will likely chip away at Facebook usage and engagement:

As Google+ gains followers, it is likely to negatively impact Facebook usage. 30% of Facebook users who already use Google+ plan on cutting down time spent on Facebook this year. Ad, that 31% of early joiners report having abandoned Google+ accounts or have not yet created any content on it.

The demographics of Google+ users are significantly different from other social networks.

  • 3 men for every 2 women (vs. 1 man for every 1.2 women on Facebook)
  • 43% of membership is 18-29 (vs. 31% for Facebook)
  • 59% has a college degree (vs. 37% for Facebook)
  • 48% are Single (vs. 33% of Facebook users)

YouGov found that the network’s core early base “is young, educated, single men who are heavy internet users.” From this core audience, now at 25 million globally, YouGov predicted that within a year Google+ would grow to surpass other social networks in the US:

As an estimated 16 MM US online adults plan to join Google+ in the next year – substantially higher than any other social network – it is positioned to surpass Myspace, Twitter, and LinkedIn in US membership.

Only 19% of US Internet users are members of LinkedIn, but 35% of those with household incomes over $120k are members. LinkedIn users are not, however, as active as other social media users and 24% of current members plan to reduce time spent on the network.

Although 51% of all online adults check a network at least once a day, many social networks have a substantial number of members checking less than once a month:?

[Source: YouGov]

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