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Google + Gains Users, Improves Hashtag Functionality

Google’s CEO Larry Page set the internet world abuzz with the announcement that the search engine enjoyed revenues of almost 10 billion dollars this quarter, up 33% from last year’s revenues (not surprising considering Google’s ability to regain more market share, with some numbers having Google’s share of searches over 65%).  Page also added that, “people are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started!” So what does Page consider flocking?

Google + just surpassed the 40 million user mark. Doesn’t seem like much compared to Facebook’s 800 million or Twitter’s 100 million, does it? This number is, however, twice what StumbleUpon can boast, as the news and video sharing site just surpassed 20 million users.  However, StumbleUpon backed up these numbers with statistics Google hasn’t really come close to: in one minute, according to the social news and video sharing site, can see (during peak hours) 1,000 people “stumbling things.” Which brings us to our Google + point: though 40 million seems pretty good for a social media platform that only recently opened to the public, how many of those users are active and avid Google + fanatics? How many of these people are logging on every day and taking advantage of the platform’s many functions? It doesn’t seem like that many.



For a social media platform that has been plagued with a ton of critical attention and even Google employee denigration, though, 40 million seems like a pretty good number. The social network is also working on rolling out a couple of new features soon, incorporating a little Facebook-like action and a little Twitter- like behavior. Real time updates in social search – so if you search something and something new comes up during the course of that search, it will show up in real time (why do the social networks love this type of thing?!) – and improved use of “hashtags” are now a part of the Google + interface. The hashtags will now automatically link to search results, kind of like on Twitter when you click a hashtag you can view the conversation going on about it. Now, I’m not saying hashtags are only for Twitter use, since they have become pretty mainstream, I’m just noting the similarity to the Twitter user capabilities. Now that I think about it, why hasn’t Facebook done something along those lines? (Let’s be honest, the folks at Facebook probably will now).


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