New Option for Social Media

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One of the Internet’s great mysteries (other than a magnetic pull to watch cats doing ridiculous things) has been: Why can’t Google find any success with social media?

For a company that totally dominates every other corner and boulevard of the Web, they’ve sure had an awful time trying to create a social site that people actually want to use.

They just killed off Google Buzz a few months ago and, hey, remember Google Wave? Yeah, nobody else does either.

But now it seems Google+ might just put an end to their losing streak.

Google’s latest effort in the social media space just wrapped up its best month ever with some impressive growth. According to Experian Hitwise, the site had 49 million U.S. visits in December, which is a 55% increase over its November traffic. Or, put another way, they just doubled their traffic in 31 days.

And, standby for social media blasphemy: At least one analyst predicts the site will eventually overtake Facebook.

Paul Allen (no, not that Paul Allen) told the UK’s Daily Mail that at its current pace Google+ could hit 400 million users by the end of the year. Facebook is believed to have around 800 million users.

He says the year-end enthusiasm could be attributable to “the holidays, the TV commercials, the Android 4 signups, celebrity and brand appeal, or positive word of mouth, or a combination of all these factors.” Well that narrows it down.

But back to those commercials, (strategically debuted during major football-watching) they certainly can’t be overlooked as a big factor in getting folks to sign up for Plus. TV ads are pretty much new territory in the social media wars. Have you ever seen a commercial for Twitter? Or any kind of ad for Facebook? Google seems to be going through its whole bag tricks and sparing little expense to make Google+ something you want to love.

And for one month at least, it very much seems to be working.

This story was written Jonathan Anker for CNN

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