UPDATED 14:38 EDT / DECEMBER 28 2011

NEWS

Google+ Surpasses 62 Million Users as Growth Continues to Accelerate

The advent of Google’s reply to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, G+ has done extremely well since its launch. In fact, Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com who dubs himself the “unofficial statistician of G+” posted his observations on the ever-growing size of this social media juggernaut.

According to Allen, he’s been having a team from Elance run “hundreds of queries” based on various surnames and compiled the resulting data into models that show that not only is G+ growing at a current rate of 625,000 daily but that rate has been accelerating ever since Google put the social media project online.

The results are pretty compelling:

July 13 – 10 million

August 1 – 20.5 million

September 1 – 24.7 million

October 1 – 38 million (Larry Page announced “more than 40m users” on Oct 13th)

November 1 – 43 million

December 1 – 50 million

December 27 – 62 million

Allen notes that if the signups rate remains the same, he predicts that Google+ will reach 100 million users on Feb 25th and 200 million users on August 3rd of next year. This means that G+ could walk out of 2012 with 293 million users.

However, this expects that the rate does not increase over that time and Allen argues that Google+ is snowballing. Google’s product is still extremely simplistic—especially compared to the almost overloaded with items Facebook—that they still have a lot of devices and outlets they haven’t yet entirely integrated into. As they spread themselves into more devices, Android phones, tablets, and mobile that they will reach an even larger audience and draw more people in.

“As more users sign up, the value of the network will increase for everyone. The network effect will become powerful,” Allen explains. “It won’t be long before new users start encountering family and friends as well as the thriving tech and media sharing community that embraced Google+ early on.”

In fact, enterprise marketing is already piling on board in order to take advantage of the level of community arriving in Google+. As the numbers of consumers on this social network swell, advertisers and marketers will continue to put more effort into drawing them in.

Right now, the G+ is an oncoming competitor to Facebook and since this about numbers, we should talk numbers. Facebook has over 800 million users and 50% of those log in daily; the average user also has 130 friends. Even if Google+ exceeds 250 million at the end of next year, they’ll still have another few hundred million users to go in order to rival the total value that Facebook represents. While G+ has a current mighty showing—almost good enough to be the social network of 2011—it’s unlikely to unseat the sheer momentum of Facebook.

What we’re probably going to see from Google+ is a branching away from the comment-and-app based approach of Facebook and more likely an all-in-one-social-media center. Already, Google is hooked up directly to YouTube; it provides personalized search results, a profile, a hookup with Gmail, and Gtalk. Altogether, these different services all come together alongside Circles (as a tight sharing mechanism) as a way for groups to clique together and use rich media to communicate.

As we see more people get on board with Google+ the use of YouTube and Circles with mobile devices will drive the use of G+ as an organ of viral communication. Even recently YouTube and Blogger connected with the G+ profile and now people can see their G+ Circles +1s on YT adding another sphere of influence for users to see what their community is up to.

Allen ends his predictions by making a bold statement about where he sees this acceleration going: “I predict that 2012 is going to be a breakout year for Google+ and that it will end next year with more than 400 million users.”


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