Ironically enough, just after I wrote about the delights of social media overload, it seems like there’s no slowdown to the demand and popularity to the insatiable beast that is social networking. In fact, according to one analysis, Google+ is turning out to be one of the fastest growing social networks ever, accruing over 10 million users in just over two weeks. Take that Mr Facebook.
The study was conducted by a chap called Paul Allen using a rather ingenious technique of guesstimating user amounts by comparing a sample of 100 to 200 surnames from the United States Census Bureau with surnames found on Google+. By comparing the popularity of the surname in the U.S. with the number of people with the same surname existing on the social network, Allen was able to extrapolate the percentage of the population that has signed up. To calculate the worldwide figure, he used a ratio of 2.12 non-U.S. users to every 1 U.S. user. Clever stuff.
Ultimately Google is fighting a long-term war for people’s virtual lives and this battle is only just the beginning.
Whilst the data can’t be 100% accurate (Allen and his peeps are working on a more accurate formula as you read this), most people seem to reckon that the information is sound enough, giving us some pretty hot statistics such as a whopping 350% growth in only six days and a 30% jump in users in 32 hours. By anyone’s standards, it’s incredible growth.
Of course whilst 10 million users may sound like a lot of people (a whole country load, in fact), it’s still a drop in the ocean compared to the behemoth that is Facebook which is still lumbering around with over 750 million active users. Are they scared? Unlikely. But they might be starting to take a bit of notice at Google’s rocket like growth spurt.
I suppose though the big question is whether or not Google+ will maintain this tremendous growth and hold on to the user base. No doubt there’s a certain amount of curiosity that’s driving people to sign up to it and whether or not they stick around or opt to return to their familiar haunts such as Facebook remains to be seen. Ultimately Google is fighting a long-term war for people’s virtual lives and this battle is only just the beginning. Let’s not forget the rather disastrous story of one social network which was recently sold for just $35million, a staggering $545million less than it was purchased for six years ago.
Anyway, I’ll take this opportunity to sign off with a rather snippy comment…