A report by Experian Hitwise finds that both Google+ traffic and the average time spent on the site per visit are in decline in the US. This suggests that the fledgling social network is beginning to slow down after a running start.
The research company report that the total number of US visits to Google+ for the week ending 23 July is down 3% to 1.79million when compared to the seven days previous; in which the site received 1.86 million visits. Perhaps more interestingly, the average time spent on the site declined further; down 10% from 5 minutes 50 seconds to 5 minutes 15 seconds.
Experian Hitwise representative, Matt Tatham, was quick to point out that this was not a devastating loss to the latest social media phenomenon. “This is not a huge drop” he explained. The company extrapolates its figures from data from ISPs and from an opt-in panel of about 2.5 million users.
The report charts the first decline that Google+’s traffic has experienced since its inception on 28 June. Last week, comScore reported that the site had reached a milestone of 20 million unique visitors. Some were even compelled to cancel their Facebook accounts completely and move all of their social networking activity to the new social media network.
Google+ is unlikely to be a passing fad, and is expected to become the primary competitor for Facebook’s social media crown. But while small, the Experian Hitwise report represents the first indication that the internet giants foray into social networking may be losing some of its momentum, just a month after its much publicised web debut.