Paul Allen, an unofficial traffic analyst for Google’s social network, has confirmed in a post that Google+’s current user base stands at 62 Million. Google+ may boast of such a huge number, but the real questions are how have they reached there? & What are the “users” actually doing? Are they active or dormant?
Paul Allen doges this important question in his report. However, the numbers seem to corroborate with comScore which reported G+ had grown to 67 million monthly unique visitors in November. But this number is pertaining to “Active Users” & that too 50 Million More than Allen’s figures!
The only way to make some sense out of these tall claims is to look into the way these two gathered the data:
While Allen doesn’t reveal, comScore’s methodology involves sampling of browsing habits from people who have monitoring software installed on their computers (we hope with prior consent!). So the research firm has been counting “clicks” to plus.google.com. It simply means comScore’s numbers include anyone who clicks through the site address within a given month, but not G+ related traffic elsewhere. Thereby, it is not showing active usage, it is not measuring users, just visitors to the site. One can relate it to the foot-fall in a mall. While a weekend may see a foot-fall of 50,000, how many of these people actually bought anything?
Should we disregard the data then? Of course not! The data shows that Google+ is growing just as predicted! Acceleration is being achieved despite being criticized . More people are signing-on & they are bringing in their friends though “invites”. But are the users actually returning once the account is created? Well, both the reports cannot give us a concrete answer.
Another bomb that Allen dropped was that he expected the service to reach a user base of 400 million users by the end of 2012. His enthusiasm is shared by G+ Product Head Bradley Horowitz who has promised new numbers that are going to shock everybody!
What do you think?