July 20, 2011
Just three weeks after its launch, Google+ is nearing 18 million users, according to Paul Allen, the Ancestry.com founder who calls himself the unofficial Google+ statistician. Allen, who is using something he calls the “1,000 surname model” to determine how many people are using the social networking site, admits that his numbers might be a little bit off. Still, they are probably close to being in the ballpark. For example, on July 14, Google’s Larry Page announced Google+ had “over 10 million users.” At the time, Allen stated the site logged 13 million users. According to Allen:
My model showed more than 13 million users when he made that announcement, so I suppose my model could be overstating the actual usercount by 30-35%. But if Google+ actually hit 10 million a day or two before the formal announcement, then my model may still be spot on. I wish I knew. I'm looking forward to future Google announcements or announcements from other industry players who have other ways to measure web site traffic growth.Whatever the "real" number, it looks like Google could indeed have a winner on its hands. Plus, what is amazing is that the service is not yet available to anyone without an invitation. To join the site, users must snag an invitation from an existing member. Says Allen:
Why hasn't Google turned on the marketing machine yet? Perhaps the product management team is still trying to get the product right. They are certainly paying attention to what customers are saying and responding quickly to try to improve the service. Perhaps the engineering team, which has publicly admitted some degree of surprise at the amount of traffic Google+ has already generated, needs more time for scalability. It's probably a combination of those two factors.The number of Google+ users will almost certainly grow a lot more in the next few days, thanks to the release of the iOS app for iPhone. After all, it is already the No. 1 free app in the App Store. We’ll keep you posted. What do you think? Leave your comments below.