Paul Allen, the founder of Ancestry.com, has estimated the number of users on the service and predicts that Google+ is about to welcome its 10-millionth member, if it hasn’t already. Such a striking number has been reached just for 2 weeks of existence.
The numbers aren’t official yet. Google+ user Paul Allen based his analysis on data about surname popularity from the US Census Bureau. In a post on Google+, he wrote: “By using a sample of 100-200 surnames, I am able to accurately estimate the total percentage of the US population that has signed up for Google+. Then I use that number and a calculated ratio of US to non-US users to generate my worldwide estimates.”
Allen claims his analysis is 99 percent accurate. Google has not yet released official usage figures for the service, though anecdotal evidence suggests that demand has been high and some of the most popular users of the service are already being followed by tens of thousands of people.
But Google has to comment on the figures soon. The service is certainly growing. This isn’t Google Wave Part Deux! But the perceived growth rate isn’t as organic at it seems. Initially Google+ went out to select techies, and not all of them had the ability to invite their friends. Now, the invite button abounds.
Google Watch’s Clint Boulton sees the numbers as an indicator that Google+ could be the most popular social network ever: “My guess is, unless Google+ begins to drag from user fatigue and early adopters start flaming it, Google+ could be the most viral social service the world has seen. More viral than, yes, Facebook.”
Google+ social network has been well received, despite some criticisms. Vic Gondotra, Google’s senior vice-president of social, said in a recent post on Google+: “Lots of criticism for Google+. We are listening and working to address. Stay tuned for changes this week.”
Google remains behind its social networking rivals. Twitter has more than 300 million users and Facebook last week announced that it has 750 million. Facebook still has a huge base, though, to whom another social network is daunting or unnecessary, continues Boulton: “That’s Google+’s biggest impediment to massive growth right now.”
Facebook still rules the space. But a report last month by Inside Facebook gold, found a drop in Facebook’s growth, which could be good news for Google. [via The Telegraph, The Atlantic Wire, Techland]