Social networking site Google+ has 400 million members as of September 2012, according to But only 100 million of those members are active on the site monthly.

This pales in comparison to social networking giant Facebook, which reports as having 955 million active users in July of 2012.

Nicholas Geidner, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, said that he mainly joined Google+ for the novelty of it. Geidner was pleased with what he discovered.

" ... I liked it. I liked the idea of it," he said. "I liked how it organized and segmented your network. Because I think that's important, and I don't think that's well done on Facebook or LinkedIn and a number of the other social networks out there."

Geidner also studies new media and social networking. He said that a possible reason that Google+ has not gained more popularity was a decision Google made at the beginning of the introduction of Google+

" ... At the beginning they really got excitement ... (and) ... news organizations started joining (Google+) ... and then Google said (they were) not ready for (corporate) accounts yet, and they closed all of those accounts," Geidner said. "My stream went from being a decent amount of information ... to being just my 15 friends who were actually using Google+, and that's when I stopped using (it) ... It just didn't give me enough content."

Denae D'Arcy, a graduate student in journalism and electronic media, said there are not enough people she knows on the site to motivate her to use it.

"I don't have any friends that use it (Google+), and I think if I had more friends that used Google+ then I would use it because social media is a way to connect," said D'Arcy, who also is a graduate teaching associate in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media.

Although she does not use Google+ herself, D'Arcy said it could be a useful service for students.

"Any social media where students can ... use the tool ... to connect ... would help (them)," she said.

Brittany Shaffer, a sophomore in business administration and communications at Milligan College who advises individual companies about social media usage, believes that Google+ could be a useful tool for students, educations and business professionals.

"I think that it can be a useful tool when it is utilized by a group of people," Shaffer said. "Students who need to work together can form a hangout, which is a great way to visually and audibly communicate with multiple people at once when they are not all together in one location. ... Educators can share links and resources on their page, which may be useful to their students. As for business professionals, Google+ is useful to connect and network with people and can be a useful channel for those who are not already on Facebook or another form of social media.

"Students can use Google+ to 'hang out' with other students, which is similar to Skype, but can be done with multiple people, instead of just two," Shaffer cont. "This is useful for students working on a project for their classes when it is not possible for everyone to meet at a physical location somewhere."