Social Networking Stats: Google+ Sees Third-Biggest Week, #RLTM Scoreboard

The #RLTM Scoreboard:  Social Network Stats for the Week

Facebook: over 800 million users via Facebook
Twitter: over 200 million users via ReadWriteWeb
Renren: over 170 million users via iResearch iUser Tracker
Qzone: 480 million users via Wikipedia
Sina Weibo: over 250 million users via Forbes
LinkedIn: 135 million members via LinkedIn
Groupon: 115 million subscribers via Reuters
Google Plus: over 40 million users via Google
Tumblr: 35 million blogs via Tumblr
Foursquare: 14 million users via Foursquare

Please email if you have additional updates, or a social network that you feel should be on the list.

Google+ Traffic Sees Third Highest Week, But Will It Retain Users?

Last week’s addition of brand pages (along with some other features) to Google+ has helped the site’s traffic, with Hitwise data showing last week as the network’s third-biggest week since launch, with 6.8 million visits. The two biggest weeks were right after Google opened the network to the public in late September.  Also according to Hitwise, the week ending Nov. 12 showed a 25% improvement over one month prior, and a 5% improvement over the week before.

Google+ Return Visitor Traffic on the rise via HitwiseTraffic from returning visitors to Google+ is also on the rise, with an 18% increase from the first two weeks on October to the first two weeks in November.

However, the Los Angeles Times takes a less positive view of these promising stats, looking at long-term trends as indicating “fading user interest” in the social networking site. The Times notes that Hitwise has tended to release data after Google+ has had a promising week or two, but that overall “Google+ has been fighting declines for most of its nearly five-month history.”

While the social network has seen an overall gain in visitors since launch, most of that growth came immediately after opening the site to the public, and many of those users dropped off the following months.  U.S. traffic to Google+ has dropped in 11 of the 21 weeks since launch, with losses from 10% to 20% from week to week.

Google+ seems to grow in a pattern of “rapid growth” followed by “stagnation.” The first round included early adopters when the network was invite-only, and the second round came with opening to the public, when visitors numbers skyrocketed from 1 million to 15 million in one week — but then in the weeks following, 50% of those gains were lost.

The recent launch of brand pages marks the third round. Will traffic stay steady this time around, and user numbers rise again?  Or will this latest success be followed by yet another period of stagnation?

Note: Hitwise data does not include traffic from mobile sources – a potentially large source of Google+ traffic – or from Google’s Notification Bar.

Google+ Poll Results:

Last week we took an unscientific quick poll of our community, asking “How soon will you create a Google+ brand page?”

The results:

  • the majority – 56% – already created a brand page
  • 8% planned to do so in the next week
  • 16% planned to create a Google+ brand page in the next month, or would do so later/not sure
  • only 4% answered “What’s Google+?”