Only one month after its launch, Google+ project is forecast to become the second most popular social networking site in the United States by mid-2012, according to a study by YouGov.According to a survey conducted from July 29 to August 2, roughly one month after Google first launched, 13 percent of U.S. adult Internet users have already signed up for a Google account and another nine percent (roughly 16 million online adults) plan to do so in the next year, amounting to 22 percent market penetration by mid-2012.
Some 45 percent of users report reading content once a day or more (only Facebook’s 62 percent is higher among social networks)About 46 percent of Google+ users report creating content (e.g., creating updates; posting links) at least once a week. This is on par with Twitter (42 percent).
The issue, perhaps, is what it all means. For marketers, it already means one more social networking channel where engagement and presence might be necessary.
In a broad sense, Google+ will accelerate a change in search engine optimization, with social rankings now becoming a more important element of ranking algorithms.
With the suddenly-growing business use of LinkedIn, it is likely that Google+ could emerge as a more-important venue for business networking as well.
It certainly is possible to argue that Google+ accelerates a change of Web relationships. One might argue the Web originally consisted of relationships between pages, and now is becoming a relationship between persons, in addition. For media concerns and content providers of all sorts, that is significant. It means that, increasingly, people will discover interesting content using social mechanisms.
Beyond those relatively obvious implications, much remains to be discovered. It would have been hard to predict the emergence of social gaming on Facebook. It seems likely that some unexpected application behavior also will emerge with Google+.
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