Conventional wisdom says that Google+ is big with the tech crowd and, more specifically, with males than females. But Experian Hitwise has a different way of looking at who’s using Google+. It doesn’t dispute the conventional wisdom, per se, but adds perhaps another perspective to the discussion.
The company’s “Mosaic” lifestyle segmentation system to conclude that the Google+ audience is expanding.
… in just over six weeks, we’ve moved from innovators to early adopters to early mainstream users visiting the new social network.
An accompanying chart shows that Google+ was initially a big hit with the “colleges and cafes” crowd (described as “young singles and recent college graduates living in college communities”), but that community is visiting Google+ less over the past month. (see red line below)
Meanwhile, the “Status Seeking Singles” segment adopted Google+ early (green line above) and continues to make up a large part of the userbase now, along with a group that Experian Hitwise calls “Kids and Cabernet.” The latter segment is described as “prosperous, middle-aged married couples living child-focused lives in affluent suburbs.” (dark blue line above)
Experian suggests that this “Kids and Cabernet” group is the first sign of Google+ adoption beyond innovators and early adopters and that watching the future migration of other lifestyle segments will help indicate if Google+ will become a legitimate Facebook competitor.
And what remains to be seen in the immediate future is if this week’s launch of games on Google+ has any impact on the types of people that visit the site consistently.
We describe this Mosaic type as young singles and recent college graduates living in college communities. Here’s a word cloud of the key descriptors for Colleges and Cafés:
Its not uncommon for innovators to trial new services online and in some cases abandon those services when they lose interest. As of the writing of this post, for the week ending August 13, 2011, Colleges and Cafés have dropped to an index of 73 and now make-up only 0.3% of visits to Google+.
However, in this case, when innovators move on, several early adopter segments take their place. One of the predominant early adopter segments in the chart above is A03, Kids and Cabernet, described as “Prosperous, middle-aged married couples living child-focused lives in affluent suburbs.”
Here’s a word cloud of A03 descriptors:
Currently, Kids and Cabernet index at 268 in their visits to Google+, and make-up 2.9% of visits to the site. Interestingly, when we look at this segment’s stats for visits to Facebook, they index at a mere 68 and make up less than 0.7% of visits to the leading social network.
While Facebook maintains its position as social networking market leader, a number of New Mosaic segments under-index for visits to the top social networking site. As Google+ matures, watching the migration of these segments will provide an indication of whether Google+ will grow into a Facebook competitor or find its place as a niche social network for specific demographics.