Just two weeks into its launch, and Google+ already has 10 million users. The pace at which things are going, it seems more than likely that by the coming weekend, there will be close to 20 million Google+ users ! How has Google+ achieved it? What are the factors in its favour, that have generated such a phenomenal response from users world wide? These are a few of the questions we are attempting to answer here.
20 million users in three weeks?
This number is staggering. The rate at which Google+ is spreading, it's like a virus, that's unstoppable. As a brand Google is huge and when they put out a product, it is received well and widely. But reaching 20 million in three weeks was not anticipated by many social media and technological experts.
This estimate of users has been calculated by Ancestory.com founder Paul Allen. He applied the reliable U.S. Census Bureau data about surname popularity in the U.S. and made a comparison of Google+ users with each surname. He estimated the total percentage of the U.S. population that has signed up for Google+. On reaching the estimated figure of US users he used a calculated ratio of U.S. to non-U.S. users (1 U.S. user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users) to arrive at worldwide estimates.
Now, many may question the method, but it works out somehow, and we get an idea of exactly how huge this is.
Bill Gross, of Pacific Investment Management has already announced that Google+ can reach 100 million users faster than any service in history, he said and we quote, "The service is great. It is timely. People are engaging with it like crazy, the next year will tell. Will there be bumps in the road? Sure. Will Facebook and Twitter fight back with more innovation? Of course. But I'm saying that Google+ is already good enough, and the team on Google+ is being so responsive in a way that makes me believe they have a real winner here."
This figure will surely not be appreciated by Facebook, even though it's sitting pretty at 750 million users, and business and community pages also reaching in millions.
Maybe these 'Pages' will slow down Google+ a bit. How?
Google+ is for Real People in the Real World
Google wants Plus to be all spic and span, that's why you can't have a 'virtual profile' -as Google calls it. We refer to it as profiles named after your online avatars. The case in question arose, with the suspension of a user who created a Google Profile with his avatar name- Opensource Obscure.
What you see in the picture is pretty clear. The profile has been suspended as Google wants you to use the name you are known by in real life, to help people find you. In case you want to stick to your avatar name, then you must create a Google Profile based on your real name, and add your avatar name in the About section of your profile.
Google+ has confirmed its desire for real people-Katie Watson (Senior Manager of Global Communications & Public Affairs), has been quoted as- “Google Profiles are designed to be public pages on the web, which are used to help connect and find real people in the real world. By providing your common name, you will be assisting all people you know – friends, family members, classmates, co-workers, and other acquaintances – in finding and creating a connection with the the right person online.
The mantra here- Be Real, people, be real!
The Google+ Juggernaut
Apart from these glitches too, Google+ is moving like a juggernaut. This says a lot about the product, the titled 'Facebook Killer' has a long way to go. 750 million users are happy with Facebook. But Google+ has a chance of getting there. As eWeek’s Clint Boulton also states:
“My guess is, unless Google+ begins to drag from user fatigue and early adopters start flaming it, Google+ could be the most viral social service the world has seen. More viral than, yes, Facebook.”
So, to conclude, whatever be the pluses (features/services) in favour of Google+, the big minus is Facebook's current popularity, and secondly the task of convincing the users to use it once and then keep using it. The momentum is needed for it to take its cut of the social network pie. What do you think?