The hangout consisted of a group of Google+ power users sitting in a room discussing the service. According to tech writer Mike Elgan, Horowitz “hinted that upcoming announcements about G+ user growth will shock everybody.”
GlobalWebIndex put out data last week indicating that Google+ hit 150 million active users. Some have shown some skepticism around the data. As my colleague Josh Wolford noted, several things have happened with Google+ that could explain the increase in users: YouTube got more integrated with Google+. Pages for brands and celebrities were launched. Google+ signups were built into Android Ice Cream Sandwich (which is on the Galaxy Nexus).
This holiday greeting was created by Google+ users for Google to show their appreciation for Google+. It's just an example of the passion that some do have for Google's social network, particularly Hangouts.
That passion was very evident last month at the BlogWorld and New Media Expo in Los Angeles. Consider that this is a conference for the online content industry: blogs, social media and video. Of course I wasn't able to attend every session and speak to every person there, but I heard a lot more discussion about Google+ than even Facebook or Twitter. Some of that is probably because it's the new kid on the block, but the talk included some pretty bold statements from some pretty big names in social media.
Chris Brogan discussed its importance to search, a topic I'm sure many WebProNews readers have considered a great deal already.
Keep in mind that all of this excitement at BlogWorld was generated before Google even launched the brand pages.
They are advertising Google+ on TV too:
I can tell you from experience with large scale audiences (over @ MySpace) that it's nowhere near that number in terms of "activity" defined by any normal definition of "active" (sometimes companies try to say an "active" user is one that logged in once within a month, sometimes once a day, etc). Whatever the actual number is, it doesn't really matter because Google has a history of "winning" and here's how they do it: speed, or, you might want to call it efficiency.
Elgan points to a new post from Paul Allen, who regularly puts out estimates about Google+ user growth. According to him, Google+ has passed 62 million users, and is adding 625,000 new users per day. He predicts 400 million users by the end of 2012.
That would be about half of what Facebook has at this point, which would be incredibly impressive for a year and a half of existence. That would indeed, be “shocking”.
He shares this growth chart:
The number of active users isn’t really the important thing. If they have Google+ accounts, that means they have Google accounts, and that’s really what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter if they’re sharing updates with Circles or “hanging out”. It means Google has them as user with a profile that they can push access to all of their other products to.
Any way you slice it, I think it's safe to say that Google+ has already proven to be a bigger hit than past social media efforts from the company like Buzz and Wave.
Is it on the path to Facebook-like numbers? It certainly has gotten off to a good start. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.