Google+ Users Are Spending Less Time on Site, ComScore Says

Google+’s U.S. users averaged just 3.3 minutes on the site in January, down from the previous month and a fraction of the time Facebook’s members devoted to its service, according to research firm ComScore Inc.

The average amount of time spent on Google Inc.’s social network declined from 4.8 per minutes in December and 5.1 minutes in November, Reston, Virginia-based ComScore found. Facebook’s users, meanwhile, were on its site for about 7 1/2 hours in January, up from about seven in December.

Google unveiled the social-networking service last June, aiming to keep users on its site longer and boost ad revenue. The company said last month that Google+ had topped 90 million members, more than double the amount in October. Still, its user base is dwarfed by Facebook’s 845 million-plus members.

One area where Google is catching up is display advertising -- a market Facebook currently leads. By next year, Google will account for 19.8 percent of the industry, generating $3.68 billion in ad sales, according to EMarketer Inc. Facebook will have 17.7 percent, or $3.29 billion, the New York-based research firm estimates. Google, which has the world’s most popular search engine and smartphone operating system, is benefiting from its ties to large advertisers, EMarketer said.

Shares of Mountain View, California-based Google fell less than 1 percent to $609.31 today. The stock has declined 5.7 percent this year. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, filed earlier this month for an initial public offering. The company is seeking to raise $5 billion in the deal, making it the biggest Internet IPO on record.

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