Almost two weeks out in the wild, how well is Google’s little social network doing? So well, one might say, that Twitter should be a little worried.
The Google +1 button is beating out both the Twitter Share and Twitter Instant Follow buttons combined, in terms of adoption by sites on the Web, according to a new report from BrightEdge Research.
Though Google+ as a social network only launched last week, the Google +1 button has been available to third-party websites since early June. Even so, the search giant took a lot of flack for arriving so late to the social plugin party, which Facebook and Twitter had started at least a year ago.
Maybe their lateness wasn’t such a big deal, after all.
BrightEdge found that 4.5 percent of the sites it analyzed have adopted the Google +1 plugin. In contrast, Twitter Share (2.1 percent) and Twitter Instant Follow (1.3 percent) combined have only been adopted by 3.4 percent of sites analyzed. That’s a huge difference and a little troubling for Twitter, considering the company has been in this game for a few years now.
Naturally, both Google and Twitter are dwarfed by Facebook’s presence across the Web. The Facebook Like button alone has been adopted by 10.8 percent of sites analyzed. The Like box, Facebook Connect and Facebook Recommendations have been adopted by 6.1 percent, 1.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
Perhaps because of the similarity in appearance between the main Google+ feed and the Facebook News Feed, many have been quick to compare the two social networks. The truth, however, is that Google+ also has much in common with the Twittersphere, where users can follow anybody they want, even if they’re not really friends.
While it’s true that much of the Google +1 adoption might be fueled by its fresh hype, Twitter would still do well to tread carefully in this more competitive social media landscape. Popular networks have crumbled before.
Related to all this is news from a few days ago that, coincidentally timed with the launch of Google+, a search deal between Google and Twitter expired. The partnership had allowed Google to integrate tweets into search results, and this is no longer happening. The companies had met to reconnect the deal, but no agreement could be found.
Maybe Google is better off this way.