They just passed 62 million users by adding 625,000 new users per day. Now, Google+ is predicting that they will have over 400 million users by the end of 2012. Are the numbers reliable?
Some say no. Not really. Those who sign up through Android 4 must create or attach their Google+ account whether they intend to use it or not. At last count, there were nearly 700,000 Android devices activated daily.
For their part, Google is attributing the holidays, recent television commercials that they’ve been running since Thanksgiving, and celebrity brand appeal for their success. Still, many tech bloggers are wondering, with the apparent mass appeal that Google is claiming, why haven’t we seen more of our own friends and family on the service? We see them all on Facebook every day, but receiving a notification from Google+ is normally something that is closer akin to notifications from Twitter – random people who we don’t really know.
A friend who is being followed by around 3000 people on Google+ told me earlier today that he was posting every day but only found 3 or 4 of his friends on the site and using it often. This, compared to 400 Facebook friends made up of people who he knew with nearly half of them posting weekly at the least, left him wondering if Google+ was really being adopted or if it was just having numbers inflated by curiosity and Android activiations.
Time will tell how successful Google+ will be compared to Facebook or whether it needs to compete with Facebook at all. Integration into other Google services is already giving it a lift in value for things other than social networking. If they’re able to crack the business side of social networking and integrate advertising, there may be no need to for them to be as used as Facebook. Google’s history in making money off ads may make Google+ a success even if most pictures of last night at the bar remain on Mark Zuckerberg’s site.