Although Google+ is shrouded in mystery, recent changes to the service might push Google’s social layer into the light. Google+ has half the population of Facebook, with 500 million users and counting. Using our analytics tool GPlusData, we examined the demographic makeup of the site to see who exactly is using Google+ and why.
The results show that the social network may become a hub for professional photographers. Late in 2012, Google+ rolled out an upgrade to the service that would allow members to automatically upload full-size photos from their Android devices. Earlier this week, Google+ announced a zooming and panning feature for photos shared to Google+. Each of these features give Google+ an edge over services like Instagram and Twitter, which target amateur photographers with automatic photo resizing and a limited selection of light filters. This week, photographers Billy Wilson and Thomas Hawk topped the list of the most-followed users on Google+: Wilson in the 18 – 24 age group and Hawk in the state of California.
As for celebrities like Britney Spears, Google+ launched its user profiles before it rolled out brand pages, which could explain why these famous faces turn up in the search results for user accounts. English is the most common language spoken on Google+ and the U.S. is the most popular country. Britney Spears is the most popular person for both groups, with more than 5.5 million followers.
Google+ is also growing as a professional network. Technology professionals and Google employees, including Google CEO Larry Page, have been filling out the “About” section of their profiles to include their employment information. Google has also set up AuthorRank to match writers’ Google+ accounts to their published works in the search results.
Filmmakers and video enthusiasts might be next: Google has also added YouTube playlists to Google+, which represents a step forward in integrating the social network with Google’s more popular products and should improve engagement in the future.Related Stories Tags circles Google Google Plus Who is on Google+