Google+ Traffic Declines As Novelty Wears Off?by Saumitra Bhagwat on July 29, 2011 6:28 AM EST
Some of Google’s product launches distinctly remind me of this one South Park episode where Eric Cartman boosted visitor numbers at his theme park by artificially barring people from entering. While that's not entirely the case here, an invite-only system decidedly helps pique user interest by inducing a feeling of exclusivity and it seems to have worked quite well for Google in the past with services like Gmail.
Google+ launched on June 29th as private invite-only beta with much fanfare as Google tried to take yet another stab at social networking. Users were impressed with the clean, intuitive UI and features like Circles and Hangouts. Some have even gone as far as to abandon Facebook completely and migrate over.
However all is not rosy as Experian Hitwise reports total visits to the website fell to about 1.79 million in the week ending July 23rd, a 3% drop from the 1.86 million in the previous week. Average time spent on the website also dropped from 5 minutes, 50 seconds to about 5 minutes, 15 seconds. However, the stats don't account for people using the Google+ app, so take these numbers with a pinch of salt.
I’ve personally been using Google+ since launch day, and have found myself spending less time on the website of late. What about you guys? Let us know in the comments!