In June, Google+ said they had 250m registrants and 150m+ active participants.
Last week, Google+ said they have 400m registrants and 100m+ active participants.
Google+ sees this as a major accomplishment. The commenters seem to agree.
Surely it's a disaster?
Google+ has lost 33% of it's active members in 3 months -- and they're celebrating(!)
Six more months of this, and the platform will have no active participants, just a bunch of people who clicked a few links once.
Therein lies the problem. Getting registered members is easy. It's fun to boast about, but it's meaningless. If Google+ hits 1bn registrants and 0 active users, what benefit do they get?
Getting people to click a link (especially when you can coax them into it from a huge, existing, userbase) is a simple task, but one that yield no benefits.
The real work begins after they click that link to register. How do you guide that journey to becoming a regular participant.
If you were managing a community like this, you should press the panic button. You halt all promotional activities. You should delve deep into the newcomer to regular journey. Your single-minded goal is to find out where and why members are dropping out of becoming regular members and resolve the problems.
It gets worse, those 300m people that no longer use the platform are gone forever. They're not coming back. They didn't come back to Friendster, MySpace, Friends Reunited, Bebo, Second Life, FriendFeed, and hundreds of other platforms.
Maybe things will change. Perhaps the number are misleading, perhaps there is a grand strategy at work that we've not privvy to. As things stand, this platform is doomed.
p.s. Final day to register for The Pillar Summit's Professional Community Management course. Click here if you want to sign up.