Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Number of Users of Popular Social Networks for May, 2013

In what universe does Google+ actually have 343 million “active” users? Take a look at the sharing stats on the very post this is linking to, for example: as of writing, it has 1,056 tweets, 714 Facebook likes, and 182 +1s. According to the stats in the post, that translates to 189,394 active users per share on Twitter, 1.55 million users per share on Facebook, and 1.88 million users per share on Google+.12 Obviously, these won’t be proportional — the demographics of each social network are different enough that there won’t be an even correlation. But how does a tech-savvy audience like that of Google+ share a nerdy link at a significantly reduced rate compared to Facebook?

David Chartier’s observations strongly reflect my own experience with the product. I’m not saying Google is juicing their numbers here, but I simply haven’t heard of anyone actively using Google+ on a regular basis to nearly the same extent as Tumblr, for example.

Update: Apparently, this data is already out of date. According to GlobalWebIndex (of which Google is a client), Google+ now has 359 million “active” users (though only 135 million are active posters). GlobalWebIndex uses surveys to gather this data, though, which makes it suspect. Google hasn’t released any official data since December 6.


  1. I’ve chosen a users-per-share metric because it gives manageable numbers. The inverse — shares-per-user — produces very small numbers which are harder to grasp. ↩︎

  2. Note that smaller numbers in this metric correspond to greater shares per user. That is to say that user interaction is higher on this particular post when the number is lower. ↩︎