Like a major shift in the rankings of sports teams in their division, there’s a new No. 2 in town. Google+ has usurped the second place standing among the leading social networks of the world.
With Facebook’s 1-billion strong user base remaining untouchable for the time being, the race is all about the second spot these days. And Google+ has secured it.
U.K. market research firm Trendstream’s Global Web Index (GWI) shows that Google+ brought in 343 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2012. This 27 percent jump over the previous year was enough to propel the platform into the No. 2 position.
Twitter, as it turns out, has fallen to fourth place behind Google-owned YouTube. Put differently, Google now controls two of the top three social sites in the world.
No. 4 Twitter presently boasts of 288 million active users, which is well behind its nearest competitors. Of course, no one is counting Twitter out by any means. In fact, Twitter actually gained more active users in recent months that any other social network.
“The fastest growing network in 2012 in terms of ‘Active Usage’ was Twitter, which grew 40 percent across our 31 markets,” says Global Web Index Consulting director Brett Petersen.
Although the likes of Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter will continue to challenge one another for premium posturing in the top five category of social networks for the remainder of 2013, it goes without saying that Facebook has nothing to worry about as the top dog.
“2012 saw Facebook shrug off the potential for Facebook fatigue and saturation in a spectacular way with active users growing 33 percent,” says Petersen, adding that more than 50% of the global Internet population now accesses Facebook regularly.