Now that the initial excitement about Google+ (among those of nerdist disposition, at least) has subsided, one wonders whether real people have come to enjoy its environs.
Is there a disaffected Facebook-loathing underclass, ready to riot against the rule of Zuckerberg? Is there a subsection of humanity that is craving its own virtual space in order to meet its own kind of virtual friends?
I am grateful to GeekWire for offering something of a +1 to a piece of research by Experian Hitwise. This study attempts to analyze where Google+ might have gained sway.
In a blog post on its site, the brains at Experian Hitwise claim startling information: there is one subsection of society where Google+ is gaining affection.
This subsection might be described as "miserable married people, stuck at home in the 'burbs with children." Naturally, Experian Hitwise doesn't describe them that way. It calls them the "Kids and Cabernet" group--"prosperous, middle-aged married couples living child-focused lives in affluent suburbs."
The study contrasts another societal subgroup--"Colleges and Cafes"--which appears to be gaining some disaffection for Google's new social-networking foray.
The sample size for this analysis was, apparently, 10 million Internet users. One can only speculate as to whether these 10 million are an accurate representation of the world at large.
My own entirely unscientific analysis suggests this: Although it does have its amusing elements, Google+ is more complicated than Facebook. Some people enjoy more complicated things. Many, though, are desperate for the world to lay everything neatly for them on a plate, so that they don't have to try too hard.
Perhaps, the Kids and Cabernet group, if they were free to do so, would write in their relationship status box: "It's complicated" and that's why Google+ appeals to them. Or perhaps these folks never got into Facebook and suddenly want to seem cool at dinner parties.