Google+ Becoming More Mainstream, Says HitWise

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-08-15 Print this article Print

One month ago, some folks were lamenting or even deriding Google+ as a place where Googlers, tech early adopters and journalists reigned.

It's still true that those demographics comprise the bulk of the 25 million-plus Google+ users, but Experian HitWise has some numbers that show otherwise.

HitWise Research General Manager Bill Tancer said that in over six weeks since the limited launch of Google+ June 28, "we've moved from innovators to early adopters to early mainstream users visiting the new social network." Indeed, here's his chart:


It's hard to read the chart above, but Tancer's so-called Colleges and Cafes and Status- Seeking Individuals segments -- comprising young singles and college graduates living in college communities -- initially led the way on Google+.

These people range from 19 to 35 and make $15,000 to $35,000 a year. They tend to be up on the hip, new stuff in high-tech.

Status-seeking people remain active on Google+, but the Colleges and Cafes group gave way to the Kids and Cabernet group, or affluent, middle-aged suburban couples with kids, or even Full Pockets, Empty Nesters -- those folks whose kids have flown the coop.

These folks are aged 46 to 50 and make from $175,000 to $250,000.

From my own personal experience, I can vouch for the fact that there are more diverse users now than a month ago.

One month ago, I was inviting colleagues, adding Googlers and journalists to Circles and vice versa.

Fast forward to this weekend and I've just been "followed" by a University of Oregon football player, as well as several people in various engineering and medical fields. These are people I never would have come into contact with via Facebook.

It's refreshing to be honest, but it's also an ominous sign for, say, single women who don't want to be followed by guys who like to ogle online.

Click on some of the womens' profiles and you see adult men making suggestive comments in photos, and not in a way that suggests friendship or familiarity with the women. Very high school.

Overall, Google+ has been an eye opener and it has the potential to open peoples' eyes to new horizons, or at least open doors to meeting interesting people. We just have to find a way to discourage the stalker factor. |

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