Despite being launched as a closed beta, Google+ (the social network from the world’s search engine giant) managed to win over a massive customer base. After just four weeks of limited availability, Plus had garnered 25 million users. While there haven’t been official numbers released in the three weeks since, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Plus is here to stay.
The most convincing data on the subject? A recent study from Experian HitWise showed that Google+ was starting to come into the public vision. As HitWise explains it, there are several major stages of “diffusion” when innovations are released. It begins with the experimental class of users who may or may not stick with the service long-term. Then early adopters enter the picture, signaling the beginning of mainstream acceptance. From there, the product continues to spread, eventually reaching the late majority.
The initial rush of users certainly came from the innovators – and primarily those in the technology industry. Now, the picture looks different. Here’s a cloud chart of statistics for users adopting Google+ right now:
Many of the users are affluent suburbians, and the exact sort who are likely to stick with the service in the long-term. It’s still a fairly small group when compared with the core of Plus (even as use from the younger demographics have dropped, Google+ use has still gravitated to young, male technology-oriented web socialites). Still, it’s a great sign for those who are betting on Plus’s success.
Plus’s success won’t come in the short run, however. Google has a long path between it and real market saturation with Plus, and in that time Facebook could make any number of moves. However, the rapid adoption and already strong user-base demonstrate that Plus is likely here for more than a quick sprint.