Last Tuesday, the Google Blog announced that Google+, which had been “invitation only,” was changing to “open access.” According to data from Experian Hitwise, since Google+ made the service publically available, Google has seen a 1269% increase in traffic to the social networking site. In the week following its public launch, Google+ increased to 15 million US visitors and increased its ranking to the 8th most visited social networking site. However, during the same time period, Facebook continued to dominate Google+ with well over 1.7 billion visits.
Google+ achieved 10 million users within two weeks of launching and within a month the social site had over 25 million users. To put these figures into perspective, it took Facebook three years and Twitter 30 months to reach the 25 million user milestone. However, Google does have the distinct advantage of an established network of over one billion users. Paul Allen, the self-proclaimed “unofficial statistician” for Google+, said the following regarding Google leveraging its dominant online presence to quickly generate signups:
“By integrating +1 and Circles (targeted sharing) and other Google+ functionality into its Chrome browser, Android phones (and tablets), Gmail, Google Reader, Blogger, Google Photos, and other properties, Google+ will give its more than one billion users repeated chances to sign up for and use the functionality of Google+.”
Allen also stated that his data suggests Google+ has passed 50 million users and is acquiring new users at a rate of two million per day. When compared to Google+, Facebook currently has 16 times as many users and over 100 times as much traffic. However, the rapid growth rate, innovative features, and Google’s commitment to the social network’s success indicate Google+ will have Facebook’s attention for the foreseeable future.