My G+ public posting activity estimates have been cited again -- and misrepresented
This time the source is Mike Murphy, writing at Quartz, in "Google, proving it still hasn’t figured out social, will strip Google+ for parts"http://qz.com/354015/google-proving-it-still-hasnt-figured-out-social-it-will-strip-google-for-parts/
I'll pass comment on the headline for now.
Regards G+ activity, Murphy writes:Google+ is a social graveyard. It’s reported to have more than 2 billion profiles, but fewer than 6 million active users.
The paragraph links to +Kevin Anderson
's graphic based on my results (which I've adopted as a profile cover photo), so there's no doubt as to his source: http://kevinanderson.nl/how-many-people-are-publicly-using-google-plus/Unfortunately that's a misrepresentation of my analysis and results. I've sent the following to Mr. Murphy's email address at Quartz:
I'd like to correct one point as I'm the source of the stats and you're misrepresenting them. I did NOT find that there are only 6 million monthly actives on G+. I don't have access to Google's systems or data which would be capable of showing that. Rather, I looked at a specific question I could
answer through data sampling:
How many G+ profiles show a most recent post within the current calendar month?
The full report is here:https://ello.co/dredmorbius/post/nAya9WqdemIoVuVWVOYQUQ
The answer I arrived at: about 6.6 million users, have made public G+ post in 2015, as measured January 19.
If you look at a full months' data, the number is closer to 10 million. If you consider non-public activity (I did a second analysis to impute that), there's probably another 50% of users. After which things start getting really squirrelly and the best tool I've got to pull out is the old 90-9-1 heuristic which suggests that of the 10-15 million users we're seeing there's probably another 90% who are mostly lurking. There are a few ways that might slide, but true actives could be anywhere from 50 - 150m monthly. Still far below what Facebook claims (likely also inflated). But well above the 6 you cite.
I'd prefer you clarified that 6 million is "publicly visible posts January 1-18, 2015", and is NOT a direct indicator of monthly active users.
Much as I'm annoyed at Google for not publishing credible and useful numbers themselves, I've no interest in seeing my own estimates misused or misrepresented.
I'm also happy to report that I use G+ extensively myself. Though smallish and with many annoyances, it does have a number of compelling features and a community I've found useful.