Feeds

Page won't show his ring to prove Google+ 'engagement'

90 million 'users' ... but are they just there for GMail?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Analysis Mountain View is still struggling to explain exactly how many of the people who have at least signed in once to its social network are actually sticking around and sharing posts with other users.

The company saw its shares tank yesterday, after its financial results surprisingly underperformed Wall Street expectations.

Google has been energetically realigning its business to make the search engine giant belch out more "personal results" via its social network.

As part of that move, the world's largest ad broker announced yesterday that it now has 90 million global users signed up to Google+.

It clearly hopes to ratchet up that userbase, but sadly for Google, its failure to provide a breakdown of how much live activity is taking place on its network leaves the company open to ridicule.

Google execs could learn a thing or two from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg here. He has previously described sign-up metrics as being a bit dull.

The real stuff the social network god gets excited about is engagement from users with his site.

In July, Zuck said he wasn't bothered about reporting the company's total number of signups, which is reportedly closing in on one billion users.

At the time, he said that Facebookers were sharing over four billion different things each day.

That's clearly a much more interesting number. Arguably, of course the signup metric for Facebook is a good deal more telling than the one cited by Larry Page for Google+ just yesterday.

That's because Facebook has only one destination online.

Google, in contrast, has an array of internet properties that the company has only recently decided to link up with one sign-in to rule them all.

The Chocolate Factory isn't saying anything about those users who are automatically signed into Google+, for example, after simply accessing their Gmail accounts.

So what did Page say during his earnings call with reporters on Thursday?

Helpfully, the Google boss has provided a transcript via Google+, natch.

I’m... pleased to announce that there are over 90 million Google+ users - well over double what I announced just a quarter ago on our earnings call. Engagement on + is also growing tremendously. I have some amazing data to share there for the first time: +users are very engaged with our products - over 60 per cent of them engage daily, and over 80 per cent weekly.

But as I said last quarter, Google+ is about much more than the individual features themselves. It’s also about building a meaningful relationship with users so that we can dramatically improve the services we offer. Understanding who people are, what they care about, and the other people that matter to them is crucial if we are to give users what they need, when they need it.

Take last week’s Search announcement, which I’m really excited about. We’ve now included personal results in Search, so you easily find information like photos and +posts that are super relevant to you - as well as the people you care about, or are interested in. You can even restrict to all personal results or easily view Google in 'world' mode just as you would have before. I really like it, and I encourage all of you to try it out too.

Page said "engagement" on Google+ was increasing fast, but then failed to drill down on that detail by stating that "+users" were simply plugged into the company's products.

That's a wishy washy statement that tells us the obvious - people with Google accounts interact with the firm's different online services.

It might be the case that 60 per cent of the 90 million people that have so far signed up to Google+ engage with the site on a daily basis, but why not offer some juicy detail on how many different posts and links are being shared each day via the site?

Is Google staying quiet about such metrics because the reality is that that particular number is unimpressive?

In effect, Google appears to be nervously fretting about "engagement" from its userbase. Page must surely be thinking: "If only they'd put a ring on it." ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.