Google+ number two social network

Credit: GlobalWebIndex

Google+ grew 27% last month to 343-million active users.

Per Steven Vaughan-Nichols (@sjvn) of ZDNet, Facebook is still the top social network by a wide margin, but Google+ has moved into second place among Internet users globally.

Citing a GlobalWebIndex study, Vaughan-Nichols reports Facebook has almost 700-million active users. The research group defines active users as those who have used or contributed to a site in the past month.

Other interesting findings from GlobalWebIndex include:

  • All three of the major global social networks, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter are growing by leaps and bounds.
  • Twitter was the fastest growing network the last month in terms of “Active Usage,” growing 40% to 288m across 31 markets (approximately 90% of global Internet population).
  • 25% of the world’s Internet population actively use Google+ on a monthly basis, compared to 51% actively using Facebook, and 21% actively using each Twitter and YouTube.

Google+’s gains are not coming at the expense of Twitter or Facebook. Per Vaughan-Nichols, “…[I]t appears that the global networks, led by Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube, will all continue to grow at the expense of the local social networks, especially local Chinese services.”

I am finding more and more people adding me to one of their Google+ circles — about 3 or 4 a day. I also know that the mobile interface of Google+ is the most eloquent  of any of the social networks. And it’s mobile where people are logging into their social networks.

Will Google+ ever pass Facebook? Anything’s possible, but I don’t think so. Facebook is only six or seven years old. We’re just seeing the beginning of what Facebook is going to do with social networking.

Google needs and is going to grow social though. It’s the signals of trust which can picked up through social sharing and engagement which improve the search experience. In addition, expect Google to leverage the third largest social network, which it owns, YouTube, to grow Google+.

For lawyers and law firms, choosing social networks is not a ero sum. You’ll need to actively use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube to network through the Internet to build relationships and enhance your word of mouth reputation.