Weekly Digital News Roundup: December 31 – January 4
- According to data from comScore, Google+ can now join the ranks of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with its 100 million unique visitors per month. But are those visitors truly unique?
- The data states that the network attracted 105 million monthly users in October 2012 compared to 65.3 million in October 2011, a 60.9% increase, writes Mashable’s Todd Wasserman. Mobile is lagging; Google had 7 million mobile users, which is chump change compared to Facebook’s 91.3 million. ComScore did not measure time spent on Google+, but last June, Google claimed that users spent an average of 12 minutes a month on the network.
- The unique monthly visitor account may be inflated due to Google’s decision to force its users to create Google+ accounts. When a user wants to create an account to use Gmail, YouTube, and other Google services – including Zagat for restaurant reviews – they are also set up with a public Google+ profile page. This is part of CEO Larry Page’s plans to get people to use the network, and it appears to be working.
Facebook Messenger Adds Voice Messaging
- Facebook recently launched an update to its Messenger app for iOS and Android, allowing users to send short voice messages (up to a minute in length) within the application. This update pits Messenger evenly against Apple’s iMessage service, which similarly lets users send voice messages, and Blackberry Messenger.
- The change is part of Facebook’s ongoing mission to dominate mobile messaging services. Another noteworthy element of the update is that Canadian users on iOS can start using Messenger to make VOIP calls inside the app, similar to Skype and Google Voice. The next logical step: voice calling.
- AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac writes, “In essence, owning the chains of communication is Facebook’s best path to growth. Now that the service has saturated most areas of the developed world, hitting the billion-user mark and seeing its growth curve begin to flatten, Facebook must think differently: What are the ways people communicate with one another outside of Facebook? And how can we own them, too?”
“Tumblr” Surpasses “Blog” on Google Search
- Microblog network Tumblr overtook “blog” as one of the most searched terms on Google, Mashable reports. Google’s search stats show that the word “blog” has been in decline since May 2009, which is around the same time Twitter became the third highest ranked social network according to visits.
- Tumblr started in February 2007, and became one of the top 10 most visited sites in the world in November 2012. With an audience of about 170 million people per month, the website also collects about 20 billion page views per month. Founder David Karp thanked the Tumblr community in a recent blog post when he wrote, “You guys have earned an audience bigger than the biggest TV networks, and you continue to make some of the most thought provoking, insightful, inspiring, funny, diverse, and compelling content being created today.”
- The traditional blogging model isn’t disappearing in the near future thanks to blogging networks like WordPress, which powers about 22% of websites in the U.S. But with Tumblr’s recently improved ad model and its 87 million blogs (and growing), WordPress’ dominance may be short lived.