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I’ve been using Google+ a lot more lately but mostly because of the forced connection between the social network and YouTube. It makes me wonder if this new connection has anything to do with Google+’s spike in user registration.

We Are Social crunched the numbers and here’s what they found:

In the past year, the site has seen tremendous growth in terms of registration. But in terms of active users, not so much. And note that active means using the site on a “monthly basis”. We’re not even talking about truly regular, daily users. A year ago, 51% of the users were active, now that number has dropped to 32%.

Who is using Google+ regularly? 62% are men and the most active age group is 25-34. Facebook has more active women but it’s a slight difference (not like the gender bias you see at Pinterest) and it skews toward the 18-29 age bracket.

Google+ users are also more likely to come in via a mobile device.

Good numbers, but Facebook has them beat with 66% of the social sharing happening through a mobile app.

If you’re a marketer, getting people to the site is one thing but how long they stay is just as important. People who hit and bounce aren’t going to be influenced by your message. The longer they stay, the better chance you have of getting through.

So here’s Google+ going from an average of 3.3 minutes (per month?) per person in 2012 to 6.47 minutes in 2013. Compare that to Twitter with 170 minutes per month and 257 minutes on Instagram.

Those numbers are so far apart, I keep thinking I’m reading them wrong. Six minutes a MONTH? It hardly seems worth it and yet  70% of the top internet brands are on Google+. Why? Because it’s Google.

Think about it. If Google+ was actually George+ would anyone use the site? No. We use it because everyone says doing so will boost your search ranking in Google. Plus, as I said at the top, if you want to run a YouTube channel, you have to have a Google+ page and that page is going to auto populate when you post videos and comment. Your page is going to look active even if you never post directly or read your newsfeed.

If Google+ was the Facebook replacement they set out to be, they wouldn’t need to resort to extortion and bribery just to get people to play in their yard. The only thing that is keeping Google+ going is the name.

Your turn. Yea or nay on Google+?