Social networking overall surges, but Google+ could be slumping

Over half of all online adults in the US now use at least one form of social network, new research suggests, the first time all age segments have crossed the fifty-percent milestone. 65-percent of users have a Facebook or LinkedIn account, or one with another social networking site, the Pew Research Center claims, with young women (18-29) described as "power users" with 89-percent surveyed using the sites, and 69-percent doing so daily. However, the statistics come as one of the poster children for fast-growing social networking, Google+, seemingly experiences a slump in user interest.

That slump, DreamGrow Social Media suggests, has seen Google+ go from 2.89-percent of all visits to Google at the start of August, to 1.84-percent today. Total traffic looks to have dropped by more than a quarter in the most recent two week period.

It's worth noting that Pew's figures are based on a 2,277 person sample, while DreamGrow's analysis uses Alexa traffic stats. The latter relies on internet surfers who have the Alexa toolbar installed, and the numbers could be affected if Google's other properties – such as Gmail or search – experience a surge in popularity that reduces the comparative impact of Google+ visits.

Official figures for Google+ adoption are still in short supply. Back in mid-July, Google itself said it had 10m registered users, while comScore suggested site traffic indicated 25m users (either registered or viewing public posts). Since then, however, Google has been quiet about service popularity, preferring instead to roll out tools for blocking and ignoring content as well as integrating Hangout support into YouTube.