Businesses that ignore Google+ in their social media plans may be missing out on a huge opportunity, new research has found.
That's because 26 percent of female Internet users and 25 percent of male Internet users have Google+ accounts, an eMarketer report found. That makes the network the second-most popular social network after Facebook as ranked by the number of Internet users with accounts. The data did not examine user activity on the accounts.
"Google+, a social network which had been somewhat marginalized after a lackluster start, is proving itself in US user figures," the eMarketer report said. "The site had the second-highest number of account holders among both men and women, leading Twitter by approximately 10 percentage points for both genders."
Despite strides made by Google+ among social media users, Facebook remains the most popular network among Internet users. More than half of Internet users say they have a Facebook account, though women were more likely than men to have a Facebook account. Overall, more women had social media accounts across most networks, the researchers found.
Twitter followed both Facebook and Google+ among all Internet users, with 17 percent of female and 16 percent of male Internet users. More women had a Pinterest account than a Twitter account, but just 5 percent of men had a Pinterest account. Both 14 percent of men and women have LinkedIn accounts and just 6 percent of respondents are on Instagram.
"On Pinterest, the skew toward women has been well-documented and remains firmly entrenched," the eMarketer report said.
The rise of social media has led people to access those accounts from a number of devices. Laptops and desktop computers remain the most popular ways to access social media accounts used by more than 60 percent of users. Social media users also say they use smartphones and tablets to access their accounts. A much smaller number of respondents say they use a gaming system or connected television to access accounts.
The data was based on research from Burst Media, which polled more than 2,500 Internet users in the United States.