Google+ Traffic Booms But No One Can Agree On How Much

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I'm pretty sure that nobody knows exactly how much Google+ has. Last month GlobalWebIndex said there were over 150 million users. Other reports indicate a more modest estimate of 62 million users. Statistician and founder of Paul Allen forecasts that Google+ will reach 85.2 million by February 1. But wait, didn't Google+ already have almost twice that number?

So yeah, nobody seems to know how much Google+ is growing but they all seem to agree on one thing: Google+ is getting bigger. Experian Hitwise confirms this dubious agreement in a tweet they posted yesterday:

Google+ total US visits reach more than 49 million in Dec-11, biggest month to date & up 55% compared to Nov-11 1 day ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

55% in a month is a huge surge and certainly gives substance to Allen's prediction mentioned above. In case you were wondering what this looks like, Experian Hitwise produced their own graph to illustrate what this boom in users looks like:

Even going with the most generous estimate that Google+ has over 150 million users, that's still a far cry away from the amount of users that Facebook boasts. CNET reports that Joanna Shields, a managing editor of Facebook for several regions in the world, claims that Facebook has 800 million users with "half a billion" that come back every day.

It remains to be seen if Google+ can keep up the growth of users over 2012 and whether the new adapters to the social media service will stay or whether they're just curious about the latest networking novelty and will only return to graze the familiar pastures of Facebook. As Google continues to try to distinguish a solid corner of the social media market distinct from Facebook, it remains to be seen whether Google+ will become a legitimate social network contender.

At any rate, Google+ is gaining momentum and I think we may finally conclude that it has surpassed in monthly users. Keep your eye on the prize, Google.