Paul Allen, Google+ watcher and Ancestry.com founder, just completed an unofficial tracking research report, which determined that the upstart social network is rapidly gaining new users and recently passed 62 million users as of December 25.
For several years now Google has been steadily trying to make its mark in social networking. The company’s first attempts with earlier products did not see the success the search engine giant had hoped. However, with Google’s most recent attempt to enter the social market with Google+, there has been some cause for optimism.
Allen estimates that approximately 625,000 people are signing up for Google+ each day and the network will likely break through 100 million users by February 2012. If the current growth rate continues over the next year, Google will have nearly 300 million users by the end of 2012.
The rapid increase in new users is likely contributed to the release of nationally run commercials featuring different aspects of Google+ such as Circles and Hangouts. The most recent commercials highlighting Google+ Hangouts feature both the Muppets and NBA commentators Bill Walton, Steve Kerr, Jon Barry, Spero Dedes, and Kenny Smith.
The Muppets commercial features popular characters such as Animal, Beaker, Gonzo, and Kermit singing and dancing along to Queen’s “Under Pressure” during a Google Hangouts session.
Allen said there are numerous reasons as to why Google+ might be growing at a successful rate. “It may be the holidays, the TV commercials, the Android 4 signups, celebrity and brand appeal, or positive word of mouth, or a combination of all these factors, but there is no question that the number of new users signing up for Google+ each day has accelerated markedly in the past several weeks,” said Allen.
Over the past two years some have suggested Facebook is reaching its saturation point, and couple this with the privacy headaches the network has had for several years now, it might just be that users are tired of Facebook.
If Google+ continues to grow at this steady pace it could take down the social networking leader, Facebook, who has said they currently have over 800 million active users making it a serious contender in the social market.
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