Google+ Gets Pinned

New reports indicate that Google+ (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be on its way out while Pinterest has stepped into the role of the hot new social media site in town. The Guardian reports that Google+ users spent an average of just 3 minutes on the site during the whole month of January, down from 4 minutes in December. A similar ComScore report shows that things in the U.K. might be even worse, with users there spending an average of 2.5 minutes on Google+ in January, down from 3.5 minutes the previous month.

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British social networks clearly prefer the tried-and-true Facebook, where ComScore says they spent 18 percent of their total time on the Internet in January. No other social media site was able to chalk up more than 1 percent over the same period. Blogging site Tumblr came in a distant second with 0.55 percent of Internet time, followed by Twitter with 0.27 percent, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) at 0.22 percent, and Google+ and Pinterest tying for last place with just 0.01 percent of the Internet pie.

Though Google’s social-media site continues to grow in numbers of users, the limited time spent on the site might indicate that it has not yet mastered user retention. On the other hand, recent start-up Pinterest is capturing the attention of social media junkies worldwide, and could be contributing to Google’s less-than-stellar performance. ComScore reports that Pinterest has been growing both users and time spent on the site since May 2011. Pinners worldwide spent an average of 89 minutes on Pinterest during the month of January.

ComScore’s report isn’t the first to point out Google+’s deficiencies. John Schappert, the chief operating officer of games maker Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), recently told The Wall Street Journal that the network is “slow on the uptick with users right now,” while Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) social media manager Ekaterina Walter said that response on Google+ was “not as great as we were hoping it was going to be,” revealing that its Facebook page has millions of fans and gets thousands of comments compared to just dozens on Google+. But Google isn’t giving up. The Guardian reports that bonuses at Google will be dependent upon the success of the social media venture.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Cloninger at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at