Google+ finding it tough to grow in Asia Pacific market

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Google+

Latest figures are showing that Google+, its new social networking venture, is struggling to retain many of its users in the Australia and Asia Pacific region – except for one country that has bucked the trend. Singapore.

According to analytical firm Experian Hitwise, Google+ has seen usage drop in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand drop to be nearly zero, while India falling to be 0.002 percent of social networking and forum traffic in the region. However, Singapore is steady increasing, even breaking the 0.01 percent mark sometime in August.

Why is that? Well, according to CNET Asia, Singapore is the largest market of iOS devices – given that it has a small population, it means that most people are using an iPhone or an iPod touch. Especially given that Google+ now has an iPhone app, it means many more are using the app to update their statuses on the service.

Hong Kong’s share, however, wasn’t a surprise. The fact that local Chinese services have dominated the market for so long is affecting their growth. Granted, it is also having an impact on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, India – despite its large population – isn’t attracted to the service. As The Next Web points out:

Given that both Facebook and Orkut command substantial numbers of users in the country already, perhaps there is no space — or limited enthusiasm — for a third competing social networking service.

Although not shown, Google+ could also find it tough in South Korea and Japan, where local sites also dominate.

Australia, however, was surprising given the amount of buzz – which is reflected in signs of growth iin the first week. We seem to have followed India in rejecting the service mainly because no one can be expected to manage three different social networking profiles – and Facebook and Twitter are far more popular (though, Google+ has one thing that is pretty good – there are no stupid and idiotic Justin Bieber fangirls/guy).

In addition, as I have pointed out in an opinion piece, it lacks applications to manage multiple accounts from different services. Google+ might need to reconsider attacking Facebook or Twitter by forcing people to use the service, and release a god-damn API.

However, it isn’t the death kneel for Google+ just yet. It’s getting more popular in the US and in Europe. But once we get the numbers of visits and active users, then we’ll see if it is heading on a similar path to Wave.

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