Some of Google’s product launches distinctly remind me of this one South Park episode where Eric Cartman boosted visitor numbers at his theme park by artificially barring people from entering. While that's not entirely the case here, an invite-only system decidedly helps pique user interest by inducing a feeling of exclusivity and it seems to have worked quite well for Google in the past with services like Gmail.

Google+ launched on June 29th as private invite-only beta with much fanfare as Google tried to take yet another stab at social networking. Users were impressed with the clean, intuitive UI and features like Circles and Hangouts. Some have even gone as far as to abandon Facebook completely and migrate over.

However all is not rosy as Experian Hitwise reports total visits to the website fell to about 1.79 million in the week ending July 23rd, a 3% drop from the 1.86 million in the previous week. Average time spent on the website also dropped from 5 minutes, 50 seconds to about 5 minutes, 15 seconds. However, the stats don't account for people using the Google+ app, so take these numbers with a pinch of salt.

I’ve personally been using Google+ since launch day, and have found myself spending less time on the website of late. What about you guys? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Mashable

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  • alent1234 - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    more than one person i know on facebook created an account and rarely uses it. G+ is like a twiiter/friendfeed clone. the point is for the oprah's of the internet to post links and stuff and everyone else to reply how cool it is. the oprah's are robert scoble, kawasaki and a few others who post something every 5 minutes to the point that your whole feed is polluted by them

    some of the Google employees that are actually working on G+ aren't posting as much yet. i've even read that the whole point is to have a database of good links and sources to clean up their general search results from SEO pollution

    G+ is ok to kill some time at work by following the oprah's of the internet but it will never beat facebook. Privacy controls are a lot better on facebook that google+. so far it's mostly the pricks who hate the games and other fun stuff that people post on facebook that went to G+. one of them on G+ is even uncircling everyone who posts funny gif's. this guy is the CEO of a useless social network that will soon die off

    on the plus side there are some hot women on G+ and it's easy to find them and follow them
  • Kepe - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    The main problem for me is that only a couple of my friends use Google+. On Facebook I have ~150 friends, on Google+ I have ~15 friends. And of those 15 friends, less than 5 have posted anything. So yeah, no wonder why I only check the G+ site only once or twice a day.
  • bplewis24 - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Exactly. I don't know why people don't realize this. As the membership grows, more content will be shared and more time will be spent there. People can paint the doom & gloom picture all they want, but the reality is that G+ isn't going away.
  • xype - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    A friend of mine said exactly the same thing some time ago. About Google Wave.
  • PseudoKnight - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    And it might have been true had Google not killed it. Google isn't going to kill Plus.
  • PubFiction - Sunday, July 31, 2011 - link

    And google buzz
  • welshy992 - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Actually, all my real friends jumped on G+ because we're sick of not being able to post things on Facebook due to family friending. The circles makes it so easy to share to the right people. All of us had originally switched to for our sharing, but g+ does it even better.

    I have a feeling that the majority of users on social networks haven't really found their niche in it's use. I use it for sharing articles, and my friends do the same, but we're entirely inclusive and we love it that way. It's like chatting with your friends about stuff all day long. Using it for posting your "mood" is so narcissistic. Who cares, show me a funny/interesting blog post or gif or gtfo.
  • alent1234 - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    posting to selected friends is a PITA on the mobile version of facebook but not on G+

    facebook has been behind the power curve in mobile access
  • welshy992 - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    If you like Yahoo omgsomanylinksandthingstoclickilovemafiawars!
    stay on facebook, please for the love of God stay there and never leave.

    If you like google+twitter and a spartan aesthetic, then migrate. Seems simple enough.
  • bendrix - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    When Google booted me earlier this week for no apparent reason with no explanation or path for my return they slowly ate away at my enthusiasm and good intentions to share tips and tutorials with new comers... as each day wanes on I loose more and more interest in wanting to be part of the service. I'm trying to be understanding and level headed about the experience but the damage has been done and still no one has sought to rectify it even after I sent in a few appeals. I wish them well because I'm a long term Google power user and Google is the superior service that I would love to be part of but if they won't return me back my profile that i created in 2004 then its unlikely that I can ever be a cheerleader or part of that ecosystem again.

    - bendrix

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