In an effort to shrug off its “ghost town” reputation, Google today updated Google+ with total content views for profiles and pages.

On any page, you’ll notice the new figure underneath the user’s profile photo, just next to where their follower count is displayed. It includes the total number of views for their posts, photos and profile page. Clearly, this is a move to prove once and for all what the level of user engagement is like on Google+.

kessler profile Google+ now shows the total number of profile, post and photo views on pages

Of course, that number will fluctuate depending on how many followers you have, how often you publish and the popularity of your posts. Nevertheless, it’s an important metric which could prove the success or failure of the social network – and also indicate whether brands should persevere with it.

Finally, it’s worth noting that you can hide this figure at any time under your Google+ account settings, with the check-box labeled “show how many times your profile and content have been viewed.”

If you’re still unsure about Google+’s credentials as a social network, a report released today by Shareaholic shows that it drives fewer, but more engaged social referrals. It’s well worth reading.

Eddie Kessler (Google+)