Results from Trendstream’s Q4 2012 Global Web Index indicate that Google+ is now the second most popular social platform on the Internet. Facebook continues to hold on to the top spot by a large margin, but it’s the shakeup from second place on that will likely be a surprise to many.
According to the research firm’s data, they estimate that Facebook had an active user count of 693 million at the end of 2012 – significantly more than the estimated 343 million active Google+ users. More importantly, however, is the fact that Google+ was able to trump Twitter in terms of popularity. Surprisingly enough, even YouTube barely edged out the microblogging platform to claim third place at around 300 million active users.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that active users and total users are two totally separate figures. To illustrate that point, the firm says they believe Facebook now has 903 million user accounts across 31 different markets among people ages 16 to 65 yet only 693 million are believed to be active. The firm further states that if they scale things up to include the 10 percent of Internet users they do not survey and account for all age groups, Facebook likely has more than 1 billion user accounts.
And even the metric of active user may not mean exactly what you think it might, especially considering how a number of services and websites use tie-ins to social networks for login purposes or other reasons.