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Is Google+ Cheating Its Way to the Top?

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Currently, there are 90 million users signed up for Google+, which is a dramatic increase since the launch of this social site. However, an unknown amount of the Google+ users are not all active users. Although Google states that 60% of users are active daily, and 80% are active weekly, the truth is that most of the users aren’t actually updating or even logging in to their Google+ pages this frequently. Larry Page, the CEO of Google, states that users interact with Google products, meaning that most of these users are using other Google services, not just Google+. The issue is that Google refuses to release how many of these “active” users are actually interacting through Google+. In fact, Google argues that “Google + is so integrated into the overall experience that what matters is the number of users interacting with any Google site.” For the most part, people aren’t engaging with Google+, and most of the most influential people who have signed up for Google+ pages, including Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Michael Arrington (TechCrunch), rarely update, but they tweet often.  bfo-image

Not only is Google refusing to clarify how many of those “active” users are actually interacting on Google+, but they are also registering users for Google+, for the most part, without their knowledge. Since November, anyone who has registered for any Google service is automatically registered for a Google+ page. Of course, you can always disable your Google+ page, but most users don’t realize that they are signed up for an account. You cannot even decline registering for a Google+ page. The only way to avoid signing up for a Google+ page is by closing the browser after you register and before providing profile information for the desired service, then opening a new browser and signing in to your new Google account. To sum up, it’s almost impossible to not register for a Google+ page.

Google+ may be an effective social networking site for businesses, because it allows businesses to interact with readers and publish content, but this social networking site may not be as popular as Google makes it seem. Google tells us that there are 90 million users, but is it really ethical to claim to have 90 million users, yet not release the information about how many of those users are active? And is it really ethical to register users for the social site when they want to use another service? I guess some find this okay, like Google, but we will see what happens with Google+ in the upcoming months. Who knows? Maybe users will become irritated with registering for a social networking site they know little about. Or maybe users will love it. Only time will tell.