Undoubtedly fueled by the perceived exclusivity, coupled with the tech/geek crowd absolutely embracing it, when it comes to initial growth, Google+ is absolutely lapping Twitter and Facebook in terms of reaching certain milestones. In this case, the milestone being discussed is the first to 10 million users, and, as you'll see in the upcoming chart, the Google+ uptake has been quite impressive.
Thanks to a Google+ post by Leon Håland, you can see exactly by how much Google+ is outpacing its perceived competitors. In his post, Håland issued a chart that compares the growth of the three social networks, and let's just say Google+ is doing quite well:
As you can see, it took both Twitter and Facebook over two years to get 10 million users. It took Google+ 16 days. Of course, Facebook's initial ".edu addresses only" policy contributed mightily to their slower rate of growth. As for Twitter, admittedly, it was a slow burn, but now, its popularity cannot be denied. Nevertheless, neither can touch the expansion of Google+, invitation-only status or not.
Does this mean the social network domination of Google+ is inevitable? Considering there are over 700 million Facebook members, clearly, that part of the story has yet to be written, but it's hard to argue with the growth of Google+, either.
Another report that supports Google+'s exponential growth comes from comScore, which says over 20 million people have visited Google+ in 21 days. There's also a chart that visualizes these numbers, as well as one that shows which region visits Google+ the most:
As you can see, Americans are the predominant group frequenting Google+, although, India also has a solid representation. This also helps demonstrate Google's international reach is almost as powerful as its domestic. Furthermore, Google+'s invite-only status hasn't done much to slow its uptake:
It would be difficult to think of many sites that reached such a large number in such a short period of time. That said, Google does have a built-in visitor base of more than 1 billion to work with, so there is clearly potential to convert a high number of users to its new social tool – even if it is still invite-only.
In fact, I'm of the thinking that the invites make Google+ all the more attractive, much like it did with Gmail. When you force something on your users -- ala, Google Wave -- they don't like it; but when you make the service appear exclusive, the desire to have what others don't kicks in, regardless if it's acknowledged or not.
Again, if you couple that with the largely-positive reaction from the tech sector, and Google+ could almost be considered a viral success, as much as a Google product can be viral, anyway. It's hard to do things quietly when everybody knows your name. Anyway, how about a song to celebrate Google+'s early victories? There's one that fits this situation perfectly:
"Hell yea, make you hit that plus one, make you hit that plus one" for the win.
Håland posted another chart, showing how long it took each entity -- Facebook, Twitter and Google+ -- to reach 20 million users. The differences are staggering, but again, Facebook's initial period of exclusivity should be considered:
Is "lapping the competition" a correct analogy here?