Google: Google+ User Growth Will Shock People

Google+ VP, Product, Bradley Horowitz hosted a “hangout in real life” in Ann Arbor today, which was broadcast via Google+s Hangouts on Air feature.

The hangout consisted of a group of Google+ power users sitting in a room discussing the service. According to tech writer Mike Elgan, Horowitz “hinted that upcoming announcements about G+ user growth will shock everybody.”

GlobalWebIndex put out data last week indicating that Google+ hit 150 million active users. Some have shown some skepticism around the data. As my colleague Josh Wolford noted, several things have happened with Google+ that could explain the increase in users: YouTube got more integrated with Google+. Pages for brands and celebrities were launched. Google+ signups were built into Android Ice Cream Sandwich (which is on the Galaxy Nexus).

They are advertising Google+ on TV too:


Tom Anderson (you know, Tom from MySpace), who uses Google+ pretty regularly, called the 150 million number “a bit silly.” In a Google+ update, he says:

I can tell you from experience with large scale audiences (over @ MySpace) that it’s nowhere near that number in terms of “activity” defined by any normal definition of “active” (sometimes companies try to say an “active” user is one that logged in once within a month, sometimes once a day, etc). Whatever the actual number is, it doesn’t really matter because Google has a history of “winning” and here’s how they do it: speed, or, you might want to call it efficiency.

Elgan points to a new post from Paul Allen, who regularly puts out estimates about Google+ user growth. According to him, Google+ has passed 62 million users, and is adding 625,000 new users per day. He predicts 400 million users by the end of 2012.

That would be about half of what Facebook has at this point, which would be incredibly impressive for a year and a half of existence. That would indeed, be “shocking”.

He shares this growth chart:

Google Plus Growth

The number of active users isn’t really the important thing. If they have Google+ accounts, that means they have Google accounts, and that’s really what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter if they’re sharing updates with Circles or “hanging out”. It means Google has them as user with a profile that they can push access to all of their other products to.


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