Traffic plunges for Google+ as 60% of users log off

By Meghan Keneally
Last updated at 10:55 PM on 8th October 2011

Google has tried a number of different approaches, but none seem to get enough people to 'like' their social networking program, Google+.

By keeping it's new social networking invite-only, Google was hoping to amp up anticipation of Google+.

That didn't work, so they opened up the cyber gates to allow any and all people to join.

Initially, that seemed like it worked: traffic to the site jumped 1,200 per cent over the course of one day.

Since that free-for-all on September 20, the site's traffic dropped down by a massive 60 per cent.

Given Google's typical strength when it comes to launching new products, the fact that the web behemoth's social media arm is struggling to find stable footing comes as a surprise.

Web analytic firm Chitika released a report Friday that offers a possible reason for the flagging numbers.

'The supply of users for social media sites is limited. To survive you must stand out and provide a service that others do not,' the report reads.

The obvious problem for Google+ comes in the form of Facebook, which has 800 million active users.

In spite of the clear similarities, Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks that there are finite differences that make the two products stand apart.

'Now we have a product called Google Plus, which is doing extremely well, which looks like a worthwhile competitor in a slightly different space, with more privacy controls, for example, than Facebook,' Mr Schmidt said in an interview with PBS.

Additions to the social media tool, including new +1 buttons next to all Google search results to help increase synergy between Google's search function and Google+, as well as introducing a 'hangouts' section of the Google+ site, have helped to keep users interested.

That said, Chitika says that it must keep up the changes.

'Perhaps if Google can accelerate their current pace of innovation on their social network offering, Google+ could becoming a competitive alternative to its arch-rival, Facebook,' the report says.

'Otherwise, given Facebook's clout and reputation of rapid innovation, Google+ might just be left in the dust.'

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