Even though it is still nowhere near the levels of Facebook, Google+ saw massive growth towards the end of 2011, and in December had its strongest month ever. Experian Hitwise tweeted on Monday that Google’s social networking site experienced a huge traffic jump in December and more than doubled its traffic in just one month.
The site recently surpassed the 62 million members mark, but to put this into perspective, Facebook has more than 800 million active members. However, the growth rate shown by Google+ is far, far greater. Facebook didn’t pass the 60 million members mark until almost four years after it launched, and analyst Paul Allen (founder of Ancestry.com) expects Google+ to reach 400 million users by the end of 2012 – some 18 months (give or take) after it first hit the web.
However, this is not to say that for every user that Google+ gains there will be one who jumps ship from Facebook. In general terms, people don’t just use the one service. Judging by some of the comments on the Mashable article I linked to above, it’s very much horses for courses. One user explained their habits as thus:
Facebook is my ID card to the internet. It’s what I use to comment on sites like Mashable, Engadget, CNN, etc. Facebook is more popular so it’s how I stay in touch with church people, and my grandparents. Google+ on the other hand is more media driven, I see more pictures, videos, and news than I do on Facebook. Google+ only allows people over the age of 18 to join, and with that you don’t have all the high school crap going on, it’s more mature.
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