One organisation believes uptake of Google+ is likely to increase significantly this year.

Since its launch in 2011, Google's social networking platform has failed to achieve the kind of success its rival Facebook is enjoying.

According to figures from comScore, reported by the Wall Street Journal, people using computers in the US spent three minutes a month on the site between September 2011 and January 2012, compared with six to seven hours a month on Facebook.

However, editor of Thomas Morffew explained although Mark Zuckerberg's social networking solution may be more popular at the moment, Google+ is "more of a long-term play" and it will have 400 million users by the end of the year.

He explained this is because it is linked to many other Google products and services the search engine giant can use to its advantage.

Indeed, vice-president of product management at Google Bradley Horowitz previously stated the success of his firm's social platform is somewhat hard to measure, as it is intended for use as a way of accessing other products like YouTube.

However, Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis claimed Google has not communicated this to users successfully.

"Google isn't going to be backing away from this – Facebook is a competitor to them, so they're going to do everything they can to shut Facebook down," Mr Morffew continued.

He suggested Google will be looking to boost its marketing initiatives and take advantage of the fact it also has its own mobile phone operating system (OS) – Android. It is likely smartphones running on this OS will soon have Google+ already built into them – something that could mount a challenge against Facebook, which does not currently have a mobile presence.

It is not only Facebook will be looking to challenge, as the expert stated it will be targeting business users and luring them away from sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

He stated: "LinkedIn may be starting to show its age a little bit in terms of user interface and potential – especially given the connection to search," adding Google+ is more suited to professional use than Twitter.

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