Google+ now has more than 100 million users, but data shows that once we’re signed up for Google's social networking site, we lose interest in it quickly.
The average post has less than one +1, less than one comment, and is re-shared less than once, says Business metrics firm RJMetrics. That means a majority of us post information that doesn’t get noticed, and that lack of notice likely is the reason why many of us don’t come back, or that we come back very rarely.
RJMetrics found the average Google+ user posts once every 12 days, and 30 percent of all users who make one post never make a second one. Even after five posts, there’s still a 15 percent chance the user will not post again.
A Ghost Town?
What we see here is the proof of the “ghost town” criticism of Google's social networking site that was leveled by critics last year as activity started to decline. I noticed the drop-off myself--even a month after the social network’s public debut in September of last year, posts seemed to thin out quite a bit.
Average activity on Google+ decreases month after month for the average user, RJMetrics found. The same thing happens with newer users, so the cycle continues and makes Google+ look even more desolate.
Who will use a social network if it’s boring? We keep coming back to Facebook because our posts and photos are commented on, or we want to know what is happening with our friends. Our friends on Google+ don’t seem to be posting, so why should we?
“From what we can see from the outside looking in, Google Plus has a long way to go before it becomes a real threat to the social networking landscape,” writes researcher Robert Moore.
I think the apathy of many Google+ users is the reason why it is dying: it is caught in a death spiral that is almost impossible to get out of. We stop using the service because we’re bored, so our friends stop using the service because they don’t see us update anymore.
Google’s biggest difficulty now will be to try to figure out a way to fix this before it’s too late.