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I am a big fan of Gary Hayes Social media counter, which I use in all my conferences, and constantly has a huge success. Interestingly, I have always the same question : “is it really in real time” and of course, the answer is no, Gary keeps on finding sources for computing derivatives, and introduces those derivatives in his superb applet.
However, I have been concerned by one point : Gary estimates per day 3.2 billion facebook like and comment button, and 5 billion Google+1 button pressed. This is hard to believe : more Google+1 button than facebook like ??? Investigation is needed.
I went back to Gary’s source : the wording is subtile “Google+ is served more than 5 billion times per day“. Does “served” means “pressed” ? I am not a native English, so more source is necessary. This 5 billion figures is also in Mashable, and the wording is clearer “Google’s +1 button was used a whopping 5 billion times per day.“. Mashable cites another source from Royal Pingdom, which clearly states : “5 billion – How many times per day the +1 button on Google+ is used.” and the link is from Prdaily, again “38. The Google +1 button is used more than five billion times per day.“.
So many sources make it difficult to not accept. However, I still can’t believe that there are more Google+1 than facebook like, it is counter intuitive. I therefore found the original source, a post from Google official blog dated october 2011, which makes it totally reliable. And there, the wording is clear : “Since introducing the +1 button earlier this year, we now have more than 5 billion impressions on publisher sites a day“. Even though I am not a native english speaker, impression does not mean pressed. I am therefore not impressed.
Could we guess the exact number of time google+1 is pressed per day ? This would requiere a lot of follow-up, but not unfeasible. I am proposing here a few hints.
First one is to compare the number of Google+1 press and the number of facebook like on some sites, just to have a raw idea of the integral of figures over time. Then why not compute the derivative, meaning how does the figure evolve each day.
Well, it seems at first that IT is a sector (if not the only one) where Google+1 is widely used. So let us have a look at a few sites, and a daily evolution. Figures are from march 1st, and march 2nd 2013.
- Techcrunch about amazon web services : fb like from 38 to 48, G+1 from 12 to 17
- Techcrunch about fcc and cell phone unblocking : fb like from 93 to 306, G+1 from 15 to 60
- Mashable about orchestra jaw songs : fb like from 45 to 103, G+1 from 6 to 18
- A pretty much famous recent one in Mashable : facebook changing its timeline in New Zealand : fb like from 715 to 3560, G+1 from 61 to 217
- OK, last post was really fb focused. Now a readwrite post about google+ : fb like from 80 to 82, G+1 from 114 to 117. At last, a place where G+1 is above fb; that was not easy to find..
Now : let us switch to politcs, and consider, as an exemple, Obama. I found a site, of which realibility is not certain, but it does exist, which gives statistics of fb like and G+1. Here are figures for Obama G+1 : trend over last week is 3700 G+1 per day. Figure for Obama’s fb like shows 4850 per day. Raw figures are more striking : as of today, 2.7 million G+ for Obama, compared to 35 million fb like…
Finally, on this site I found the top corporate companies. Top fb like is coca-cola with 60 million likes and a delta of 36.000 per day, while top G+1 is ISPN with 2.6 million G+1, and a delta of 4200 per day.
It is hard to derive any accurate number from so little sample, but on those samples, the ratio of the derivative is about 7. There are 7 times more fb like button pressed that G+1 per day. That would put the number of Google+1 at about 457 million per day. Only one tenth of the button displayed is actually pressed : that sounds reasonable.
Another approach is to consider that in order to press google+1 button, one needs a gmail account. Official google statistics from june 2012 mention 425 million active gmail accounts. It is hard to believe that they press more often google+1 than people press facebook like. But even so : facebook is 1 billion user, who press fb like 3.2 times per day as an average. So G+1 press should be no more than half of this, a maximum of 1.6 billion per day. If, on the opposite we consider that there are 7 times less button pressed, but by half of the users (500 million gmail accounts versus 1 billion fb accounts), it means that each gmail user press G+ button 0.9 times per day. Once per day per user sounds also reasonable.
Of course, more investigation would be needed. But a figure of 500 million google+1 button pressed per day seems closer to the truth than 5 billion. And, to go back to Gary’s web site, even his own statistics on his page are clear. And thanks Gary, your counter is sublime !!