In the two weeks since it launched, Google+ is closing in on its first major milestone, the ten millionth user. The news was published in a post by Paul Allen, the founder of Ancestry.com (not related in any way to Microsoft’s co-founder and tech gossip books author). He wrote this morning:
My surname-based analysis shows that the number of Google+ users worldwide reached 7.3 million yesterday (July 10) – up from 1.7 million users on July 4th. That is a 350 percent increase in six days. The userbase is growing so quickly that it is challenging for me to keep up, since the number of users of any given surname (even the rare ones I am tracking) seems to be climbing every day. More impressive than last week’s growth is the astonishing growth in users from yesterday at mid-day to tonight — a 30% jump. My latest estimate tonight shows approximately 9.5 million users. This suggests that 2.2 million people have joined Google+ in the past 32-34 hours. I project that Google will easily pass 10 million users tomorrow and could reach 20 million user by this coming weekend if they keep the Invite Button available. As one G+ user put it, it is easy to underestimate the power of exponential growth.
Allen also found out that Google+ is especially popular overseas with one US user for every 2.12 non-US users, although that ratio is likely to change over time. If Google+ continues growing at this pace, the service could easily amass a hundred million users before the Fall, at which point Facebook might wanna hit the panic button.
The social networking giant has been teasing an “awesome launch” in response to the then rumored social service from Google, but a hastily organized press conference disappointed tech watchers with minor updates that included cosmetic changes, a new group chat feature and the long-rumored Skype integration. Mark Zuckerberg also boasted about 750 million Facebook users, proclaiming the war of social networks pretty much over. He fielded questions from journalists and dodged one asking him to comment on Google’s new service where he also maintains a user account. Another tech celebrity, Digg’s founder Kevin Rose, moved his personal site to Google+. Yesterday, the search giant’s social head Vic Gundotra apologized for excess notification messages the service flooded some users for a brief period of time. He contributed the glitch to an underestimated disk space, suggesting Google too is seeing growth outpacing their initial projections. Gundotra also wrote in another post that Google+ will be soon changing and rolling out new features based on user feedback.