Facebook cited Google+ as one of its competitive threats in its S-1 filing. However, there are other social networks that could easily fit the same description—possibly even better—as they continue to mature.
One is Pinterest, which according to Shareaholic’s Referral Traffic Report, is driving more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. Pinterest was responsible for 3.6 percent of referrals, up from 2.5 percent in December and .17 percent in July. Facebook, no big surprise, was responsible for 26.4 percent of referrals.
Another site to watch, according to Quantcast figures, is Tumblr, now getting 15 billion page views each month. Currently the site is in the process of hiring writers and editors–high profile writers and editors with strong pedigrees–to write about its 42 million user base and highlight their, according to the New York Times.
The point is to keep users on the site longer. Chris Mohney, a senior vice president for content at BlackBook Media, will be the site’s editor in chief. Jessica Bennett, a senior writer and editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, will be the executive editor.
Other stats from Shareaholic:
- Pinterest grew from 2.5% of referral traffic in December to 3.6% of the referrals in January.
- Referral traffic from Google+ dropped slightly in January, although Google’s product set–Google news, Google images, Gmail–continues to be a top referral source.
- StumbleUpon’s owned 5.07% of referrals in January position making it a very solid referral source. Reddit also ranked as a top source of referral traffic, with both Stumbleupon and Reddit significantly beating out Delicious and Digg.
Despite its 90 million strong user base, questions have been growing about Google+’s relevancy as a true social network. The site has been somewhat obtuse in revealing engagement metrics, writes eWeek.
In Google's recent earnings call, it noted that CEO Larry Page said that "+users are very engaged with our products–over 60 percent of them engage daily, and over 80% weekly." This figure called for additional clarification from Google Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra, eWeek said—namely that 60% of Google+ users sign in to use other Google products, such as Gmail, YouTube, etc. each day and 80% of + users sign into Google to access those apps at least once a week.
Or as All Things Digital put it: "So, if you registered for Google+ any time since it launched this summer, and you used any other Google product–say, search!–in the past day or week, while signed into your Google account, you got counted in those percentages."