U.S.-based Google+ users spent a meager 3.3 minutes on the site in January, actually a decline from December when users of Google's social networking service logged only 4.8 minutes, based on ComScore figures. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Google chief executive Larry Page has spun the numbers quite differently, saying Google's attempt to compete with Facebook has "become a robust competitor in the social networking space, with 90 million users registering since its June launch."
The Wall Street Journal adds:
It turns out Google+ is a virtual ghost town compared with the site of rival Facebook Inc., which is preparing for a massive initial public offering. New data from research firm comScore Inc. shows that Google+ users are signing up—but then not doing much there.
Visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between last September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period, according to comScore, which didn't have data on mobile usage.
The amount of time spent on each is beyond comparison. The volume of Google+ users is also driven by Google's requirement that new accounts sign up for Google+. So millions of new users are added that probably never use the service, lowering the average time spent on the site.
Nevertheless, Google vice president of product management Bradley Horowitz said, "we're growing by every metric we care about," while a Google spokeswoman said ComScore's data is "dramatically lower" than Google's internal data.
That sounds like a combination of fuzzy math and denial.