Of course, that data referred only to public posts. A Google spokesperson said public posts don’t accurately represent sharing on Google+, where people frequently share with private circles of friends.
Conspicuously absent from the data or the Google response was any mention of the site’s “killer app,” its hangouts feature, which enables up to 10 people to chat over video.
“The only reason that I signed up for Google+ in the first place—and the reason I’m still on Google+—is so that I can use Google hangouts,” says Michael Garfield, who uses hangouts for meetings with partners in his new business venture, Constructifieds, a classifieds website for people in the construction business.
Like Garfield, a number of small-business owners have found Google+ hangouts to be a convenient and, more important, free way to facilitate internal communications. Some larger companies use them, too, but in not quite the same way.
Howard Brodwin of Get Out Technologies, an outdoor sports startup, says he and the three other founders participate in a weekly Google+ hangout.