As Google pushes its visitors into Google+, will it succeed in taking on Facebook?
While Facebook reveals its latest quarterly numbers today, one tech giant is making huge strides with its social network platform to go head-to-head with Mark Zuckerberg's creation. Google's social network, Google+, has grown 37% from 190 million monthly visitors in May to 300 million today.
Using Google+ to authenticate a sign-in has also jumped, with 540 million Google+ members now using their log-ins for Google sites, up from 390 million in May.
Part of the reason for the growth spurt is that the company is actively trying to encourage its users to sign into Google+ as they use Google's services. Soon, the encouragement is going to turn to force. For example, next month, Google will require users to sign into Google+ if they want to comment on videos on Google's YouTube.
The amount of people signing in with Google+ is equal to roughly half of Facebook's 1 billion users but monthly Google+ users are still about 30% of the social giant.
As well, the average time spend on Google+ is nowhere near Facebook's number. Recent studies show the average Google+ visit lasting a little shy of seven minutes. Average visits to Facebook last a bit shy of seven hours.
"[Google+] has definitely seen some incredible strides recently," says CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global. "I think that will eventually be a threat to Facebook because that space only has room for so many players. Once you fall off, you're not in the game anymore."
"That said, Google has been having incredible difficulty keeping its margins up," notes Sanchez. "It's starting to mature as a company. However, its [price-to-earnings ratio] doesn't reflect that."
Looking at the charts is Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson.
"This is somewhat of a textbook pattern," says Ross. "It's not overly bullish in the short-term while in the long-term it is somewhat of a constructive chart."
As Google increases its presence in social networking, is the stock itself a buy? Watch the video above to see what Sanchez on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals have to say about this stock.
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