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The U.K.'s Daily Mail stirred up a spit storm when it ran a story titled "Traffic Plunges for Google+ as 60 Percent of Users Log Off." That's actually true, 60 percent of active users did ditch Google's social network after it was opened to the public, but only after traffic spiked by a whopping 1,200 percent. Take away that 60 percent and what you're left with is nearly a five-fold increase in traffic (480 percent), which tells quite a different story than the headline.
Mike Elgan, a prominent columnist, blogger, and Google+ user called the headline "idiotic" and "misleading," while Forbes called it "a little bit of straining for a story." Are either of these perspectives on the Daily Mail's reporting fair?
The Daily Mail deduces that Google's social media site is "struggling to find stable footing,"and it's not the only one that thinks this is the case. Web analytic firm Chitka referred to the flailing membership numbers as a "Failure to Launch."
"Reportedly, Google+ saw a surge in traffic of over 1200 percent due to the additional publicity, but the increased user base was only temporary, as was projected in an earlier insights post," Chitka said. "The data shows that, on the day of its public debut, Google+ traffic skyrocketed to peak levels. But, soon after, traffic fell by over 60 percent as it returned to its normal, underwhelming state. It would appear that although high levels of publicity were able to draw new traffic to Google+, few of them saw reason to stay."
Are you concerned that so many people ditched Google+ after it went live, or encouraged by the large numbers who decided to stay?