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Group 11: Google+ Collin Cunninghame Rafael Escobedo Anna Gerrol Ralph Mills Calin Wilson Alex Witt

Google+ Survey Project

ADV 3008 DiPasquale 10/11/11

In brief, Google+ is a brand known among almost all college students, and the majority of those students are already invested in Google services such as Search, Docs, Gmail, and Calendar. However, just over half of those surveyed had actually registered an account with the Google+ service. On average, those surveyed evaluated the current performance of the Google+ service as lackluster and below average. A small base of users, sparse advertising of the service, and a difficult-to-understand interface are the primary factors preventing consumers from diving into the recently-public Google+ service. Those who are currently engaged with the service primarily signed up because of curiosity, a personal invitation from a friend who already used the service, or the desire to support Google as a company. While the service could be seen as seeking to overthrow social networking giant Facebook, usage frequencies of the Google+ service are miniscule in comparison to those of Facebook and other social networking sites. To simplify the division of work, each of our group's six members surveyed five arbitrarilyselected college students, which grew our final sample size to thirty. This larger sample of the college student population allows us to analyze our results with a greater degree of accuracy. Our first questions gauged involvement with the service by asking whether or not the individual was familiar with the Google+ service, whether or not they had an account and why, and involvement with other Google services. What we found was that nearly everyone had heard of the Google+ service. However, among those who did not have accounts registered with the service, unfamiliarity with the service was cited as a primary reason for their lack of involvement. This suggests that a large part of the college population has heard the name of the service but does not know enough about it to be

interested enough in signing up personally. Some other observed factors preventing users from adopting Google+ were their satisfaction with similar services from Facebook, the lack of users on an innately social medium, and the hassle involved with registering for and configuring a new social networking site. The driving factors behind those who had signed up for accounts were invitations from friends and general curiosity. As a social service, Google+ began growing its reach by giving early users the ability to send personal invitations to friends. Therefore, it makes sense that many users first gained access through a friend on the inside. As a fledgling service from a Web giant, it is understandable that curious people would have been drawn to the service after reading about it on blogs or social news aggregators. Several individuals signed up for Google+ out of dedication to the Google company and a desire to see its projects succeed (or Facebook's projects fail). Google's past reputation for innovation and quality of service has no doubt influenced many to sign up. One individual surveyed was required to evaluate the service personally by her employer, and another signed up during the early closed registration phase of the service for the exclusivity. Most of those surveyed (86.7%) used other Google services regularly, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. However, a full 63.3% of the sample reported that they never use the Google+ service. None of those surveyed reported using the service more than a few times per week. This is in dire contrast to the participants' usage of Facebook and other social networking services; a full 76.7% of those surveyed reported using those services multiple times per day, and none reported using them less than once a week (it is interesting to note that this data point is an outlier, and if it is trimmed from the data, then all of those surveyed reported using social networking services on at least a daily basis). Satisfaction with the Google+ service registered as mostly low to average. When asked which features Google+ was lacking, the most common answer was a large population of users. One individual that was surveyed specifically noted that since the service was initially difficult to sign up

for, early adopters were treated to a barren social networking experience. By the time registration was open to the public, the early adopters had given up on the service. None of those surveyed indicated that Google+ was their primary source for social media. If Google does not give their users more people to play with, more features to differentiate it from Facebook, or a more intuitive user interface, it may be time to send this project to join Wave in the digital graveyard of failed ventures. Attached is a raw set of aggregate survey data.
%Aware of G+ %w/Accounts %G Services Frequency never monthly weekly mult/wk daily mult/day Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 N/a G+ 19 5 4 2 0 0 Frequency 3 3 2 7 2 0 1 12 96.67 (29/30) 56.67 (17/30) 86.67 (26/30) Other Srvcs 0 0 1 0 6 23

Quals LackedFrequency Everything User base Privacy Ease of use Age of service Advertising Chat/IM Differentiation

1 8 2 3 1 2 1 2

Reason Yes Frequency Reason No Frequency Invited 4 Don't need it 4 Curious 7 Don't know it 3 Required 1 No users 3 Love google 3 Hassle 1 Exclusivity 1 N/a 1