Minus One: Google+ Is Losing Users Fast

The Facebook rival shot up like a rocket on launch; it's coming down the same way

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Traffic is tanking for Google+, the search giant's latest attempt at building a social networking site to challenge Facebook. After it was opened to the public, Google+ took off, but is returning to Earth, the Daily Mail reported.

Initially, that seemed like it worked: traffic to the site jumped 1,200 per cent over the course of one day. 

Since that free-for-all on September 20, the site's traffic dropped down by a massive 60 per cent.

Given Google's typical strength when it comes to launching new products, the fact that the web behemoth's social media arm is struggling to find stable footing comes as a surprise. 

Web analytic firm Chitika released a report Friday that offers a possible reason for the flagging numbers. 

'The supply of users for social media sites is limited. To survive you must stand out and provide a service that others do not,' the report reads.

A word of caution from Tim Worstall at Forbes: mind your math.

Well, if traffic was 100 when Google plus was invite only, then opening it up to all comers led to a 1,200 percent raise in traffic, then we’ve got traffic of 1,200. A 60% decline from 1,200 leaves us with traffic of 480 (doesn’t matter whether this is users, page views, visits or whatever, the math is the same).

So, what the report is actually saying is that in less than a month traffic has risen 480%, or 4.8 times.

Which isn’t, really, all that much of a failure.

Right, but it wasn't all that much a success, either. ReadWriteWeb has the Chitika chart, for all you visual learners. Feast your eyes on a wild September. Google+ must continue to innovate (i.e., change) if it's going to survive, the experts warn. Though considering the way users howl when anything gets tweaked at Facebook, a grain of salt might be in order.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.