Google+ traffic has deflated after a temporary spike following Google’s decision to open up the social networking site to everyone, according to data analytics company Chitika.
When it was launched in late June, Google+ was limited to people who got an invitation either directly from Google or from an existing member.
On Sept. 20, Google lifted that sign-up restriction and usage surged more than 1200 percent, according to Experian Hitwise.
However, traffic has dropped back to where it was before Google+ became widely available, Chitika data analyst Gabe Donnini said in a blog post titled “Failure to Launch: Google+ Growth Spurt Short Lived.”
“The data shows that, on the day of its public debut, Google+ traffic skyrocketed to peak levels. But, soon after, traffic fell by over 60% as it returned to its normal, underwhelming state. It would appear that although high levels of publicity were able to draw new traffic to Google+, few of them saw reason to stay,” Donnini wrote.
Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since the launch of Google+, social networking leader Facebook has been busy rolling out upgrades and new features for its site in areas like privacy controls, video chat, and friend grouping. A major redesign of the Facebook profile is also scheduled for release soon.
Google has very high expectations for its new social networking site, which it hopes can become a credible competitor to Facebook. With its tight Microsoft partnership, massive traffic, increasing influence and growing online ad business, Facebook has become a big threat to Google, with whom it has had a tense, adversarial relationship for years.