With every social network, vanity metrics or the number of users / subscribers are one of the first things people use to benchmark the popularity of the network. No wonder then that Google+ managed to hog a lot of positive press with a meteoric rise in new subscribers such as reaching 10 Mn users in no time. Google Plus recently went public and that has resulted in a record increase in user base and traffic.
However, despite a flurry of announcements from Google on Google Plus the availability of Google API is something that will have a far-reaching effect on how Google Plus fares as a social network. With access to API developers will be able to build applications on top of Google API which could really enhance the user experience in a similar way applications like Tweetdeck deliver by leveraging Twitter API.
Another key aspect of access to API is the ability to move away from vanity metrics alone and deep into the engagement metrics. These metrics are essential to understand how other people in the network interact with content that is shared on the network. Google Plus API was made available only sometime ago but it seems someone has already started playing around with it and developed a rather interesting analytics dashboard for Google Plus.
Coming from the founder of company FoldedSoft, who seems to have a lot of experience building on Google APIs has revealed interesting stats for Google+ users. The application is currently in Alpha and has its limitations but the first look is rather impressive.
Here is a snapshot of my activity at Google Plus (I have to say that despite all my enthusiasm i haven’t really created a lot of content there so far)
The application does a good job at giving you a complete summary and then drills down into the type of content shared, content that was popular (re-shared most) and the charts highlighting the nature of activity over time. Rather simple stuff for now but the stuff that really matters.
For enthusiastic users who really take the effort in creating content, knowing how others interact with the same is critical. Also, even though Google Plus for brands and businesses is not available right now but it will have to come eventually. In that case, engagement analytics are going to be crucial for brands to benchmark their efforts and determine if Google Plus needs to be part of their social media strategy.
To give a better perspective on Google Plus engagement stats here is a snapshot of Arun’s Google Plus profile
A quick glance reveals ~3.6 comments per post, 1.38 +1’s per post and 1.79 shares per post. Even though the amplification (+1’s, shares) is relatively low as against say Twitter or Facebook the comments ratio looks promising. Google Plus facilitates discussion and collaboration like no other network out there so far.
The application can be accessed here – (where 107667022993666744471 is my Google+ profile Id). Just replace it with your own profile ID in the box provided in the app and you can generate the same for you)
Give the application a spin and let us know your thoughts?
[Arun’s Comment – These statistics reveal only the public posts / photos / discussions – It does not show limited or private posts. In my case, I have probably 3 times more private / limited posts and discussions than it is public. I use Google+ as a Collaboration tool with individuals or circles that I have formed. Even for photos it is same, I have probably 1000+ photos which are on Google+ but they have been shared with limited audience only]