Something hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve always been very skeptical of what Google considers a user. For example, they touted so many millions of Buzz users, when in fact many of the “users” were simply gmail users who turned it on (probably unknowingly) but never really USED it. So ACTIVE users are never mentioned when Google brags about any of they new initiatives. Google+ fails the same sniff test to me. Many big names I see active on Twitter, Facebook, Blogosphere are either not on Google+ or their usage and interaction is very small. Google is always bragging, but I see very little evidence. In fact, most of what I see is G+ power users complaining why so many others aren’t using the “wonderful” service.
So how does a lay person cut through all of the BS? Well, whilst viewing some YouTube videos, I noticed that extremely popular videos (millions of views) had only hundreds of +1s. All while having tens of thousands of YouTube thumbs ups.
Here is an example. Jeremy Lin video. Almost 7 million views and only 277 +1s. I checked and other very popular videos are the same. Granted the +1 button does not always show (in the Android app or online), but that might be another telling sign. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see the +1 rate is extremely low.