image Err yes actually. I have been playing with Google+ as have most of the more techies I know and I have read a few interesting articles. However, if I see another Google+ post telling me how to use it I think I am going to scream. However, if that’s what you are actually looking for I would recommend having a read of this Guide from Mashable one as it is pretty useful at getting you started.

The latest news is basically Google+ is growing very quickly as people invite their friends with beta invites and it is growing quicker than Facebook did in its infancy. Big news right – err no not really. Firstly, that’s kind of obvious as it is backed by the biggest search engine in the world and the growth certainly doesn’t mean it’s going to be a hit and Facebook killer.

Do you remember Google Wave? No, well it was this amazing new social networking tool that was going to rid the world of nasty old email – its going to change the world you know. Where is it? Well it’s nowhere really and not worth testing out because it was a reasonably good idea but it was just too difficult to use and so people signed up and got bored quicker than Ashley Cole in a convent.

I like the idea of circles and sharing specific content with certain groups but it still needs critical mass as it appears to be all of the people that first blogged and used Twitter many moons ago. In other words its still full of early adopters all logging in writing their profiles and then trying to figure out what to do with it for our clients.

I watched an interesting podcast from Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson the other day, where the guys tested the hang out section of Google+ on their podcast. If I am honest it was a bit buggy, jerky and not that great an experience but it did enhance the podcast experience a bit which is just normally static images but with this you could see moving pictures from those who were speaking within the hang out.

One thing is becoming clear is Google+ could give our old friend Google Buzz a new lease of life and users are already starting to move from Twitter to Google+ but are they going to become bored very quickly? Is it a flash in the pan?

So are people ditching Twitter and Facebook to move to Google+, at the moment yes (as this article shows) they are as people try it out but I people will fish where the fishes are to use a cliché. So I reckon although it will have an initial effect people will update all three as they see how Google+ moves into the next phase of the marketing cycle. But if I was Twitter I think I might be starting to get a bit worried.

Here are the latest stats from Experian Hitwise’s new report:

  • As of July 16, Google+ is the 42nd most-visited social networking site in the US and the 638th most-visited site on the web.
  • Google+ had 1.8 million total visits last week, an increase of 283% from the previous week. Google+ has grown by a whopping 821% from the week ending on July 2, the first week Google+ was made available.
  • 56% of Google+’s upstream traffic came from other Google properties last week, with 34% of that traffic coming from And 37% of its upstream traffic came from search engines, while 21% of its traffic was driven by email.
  • Google+ is dominated by young adults. Its biggest age group for the four weeks ending July 14 was the 25-34 age bracket, which accounted for 38.37% of all visits. The week before, the entire 18-34 age bracket made up just 38.11% of total visitors.
  • Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco are the most dominant metropolitan areas driving traffic to Google+. Other areas with a higher proportion of visitors to Google+ than the general online population include Bowling Green, KY, Portland, OR and Bend, OR.

So it is clearly taking off but when you get there it is a tad boring unless you get connected, so please get yourself an invite and let’s connect and help my experience become a bit more exciting. You can connect with me here.

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.