There are a bunch of social networks, from the relatively tiny ones like Path to the behemoths like Facebook, and one thing that they all apparently have in common is that they’re growing. None moreso than Google’s new kid on the block Google+ though. In the first month since it’s launch Google+ has ensnared a whopping 25m users. That’s a lot of users.
Only.. is it? Clearly, 25m users in a month is impressive assuming those users are real, that they stay with the network, and they actually do something on the website. There is no indication in any of the announcements as yet how many accounts are active and how many are people signing up to see what it is and then never using it again. Perhaps it’s too early to tell.
The size of the other social networks gives the 25m number a little more context. Facebook has around 700m active user accounts. That is to say, those accounts that have been accessed at least once in the past month. After Facebook though, the numbers fall away dramatically. Oft called the second biggest social network Twitter has about 175m users, but most metrics state the number of active users of the service at a rather more conservative 50m. MySpace announced in July that they also have around 50m. Bebo has 117m registered users but very little data on how many are regularly active on the site. Likewise LinkedIn with 100m.
Bizarrely, getting your Facebook events sync’d on to your phone is a major hassle. It should be easy in this day and age with smart phones and web apps and webcal and caldav and all such cleverness. But it’s not. It’s a pain. Nevertheless, it can be done though, it just requires jumping through a bunch of hoops from FB to Google, to a different bit of Google, to your phone and then to your calendar. Urgh…
- In Facebook click on ‘View All’ to see all the events you’re attending. Scroll to the bottom and there’s a handy ‘Export’ link. You’ll need to copy that to your clipboard.
- Next, hop over to Google Calendar and under “Other Calendars” on the left click “Settings”. This will pull up a page that lets you subscribe to other calendars. Click “Browse Interesting Calendars” and add the Facebook link you copied using the “Add by URL” option under “Tools” on the right.
- Now fire up your iPhone and head over to http://m.google.com/sync/ in Safari. You might need to log in to your Google account. Once you’ve done that you should see “Sync to iPhone” option, click that and you’ll get a list of your Google mail accounts and, more importantly, your calendars. Once of them should be “<your name>’s Facebook Events”. Tap it to subscribe.
- Now come out of Safari and start the Calendar app. Click the “Calendars” button, wait a moment, and you should be given the option of displaying your Facebook events in your calendar along with all the other stuff.
And that’s it. Never again forget an event you’ve said you’ll attend. Yay!