And now, part 3 of our 4-part series on competing social networks: Google+ and Facebook. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed over 1,400 people to get a sense of how the public uses the two social media platforms. We then distilled the results down into four distinct categories:
Last week, we looked at feature usage and Facebook still came out the winner – with a much larger percentage of respondents using Facebook for posting status updates, photo sharing, and communicating with friends, than on Google+. But will that continue to be the case?
This week, we’re taking a look at past and future usage to get a better idea of how the level of activity on each site has changed, and what users expect their usage will be like in the future.
While one-fifth of respondents use Google+ more now than when they first signed-up (21%), the overwhelming majority use it about the same amount (35%) or less (43%). Facebook has a stronger number with respondents using Facebook more now than when they first created their accounts (46%), and a little more than half use it about the same amount (23%) or are using it less (31%).
Interestingly, respondents don’t expect their haphazard uptake of Google+ to continue. A little more than one-third of Google+ users (36%) expect that their usage will increase in the next 2-3 years. The other two-thirds think it will stay the same (40%) or decrease (24%). On the other hand, only about a quarter of respondents think they will use Facebook more in the next 2-3 years than they do now (23%), while three-quarters think their level of activity will stay the same (54%) or decrease (23%).
Based on respondents forecasting their future usage, Google+ comes out the winner this time! However, is this because users don’t expect Google+ to live up to Facebook standards right away, but expect it to improve with time? Are users becoming less satisfied with Facebook and think they’ll end up switching to the next best alternative? Only time will tell…
Check back next week for the conclusion of our series when we take a look at what users are saying they like and dislike most about the two sites. Before we reveal that information, click here to see the full set of this week’s results.
Interested in running your own social networking study? Looking for respondents to fill out a survey? Sound off in the comments section below.