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One of technology's big unresolved dramas is whether Google can still cut into the giant social networking lead now held by rival Facebook -- or if its Google+ service is already sunk.
Data on the subject have been sparse, with much of the more recent information coming from traffic measurement firm Experian Hitwise. Hitwise has tended to release its numbers after Google+ has had a good week or two. Last week, for instance, was the site's third-biggest since launch, drawing nearly 7 million visitors, Hitwise said Wednesday.
Google+ is struggling to retain interest from users who sign-up to the social network.
Figures seen by the LA Times suggest that the number of punters using Google's service, which hooks into a person's Gmail profile and functions as a contender to Facebook, is haphazardly dialling up occasionally and down often.
Hitwise told the newspaper that US traffic to Google+ had fallen in 11 of the 21 weeks since the company launched the network in June this year. It has seen regular dips in interest from users by as much as 10 per cent to 20 per cent depending on the week.
With the might of Google behind Google+ do we have a winner here?