Recent reports indicate that Google+, which has been growing quickly in active users, should hit 100 million users (accounts) by February 2012. This is a big deal, because it took social media giant, Facebook, four years to obtain that number. In Facebook’s defense, when it was climbing to those heights, the world of social media didn’t exist like it does today, with thinks like Twitter, Foursquare and other alternatives to social media.
Google+ is basically riding the social wave to achieve these number, as well as making some necessary changes to their social effort. They made changes to allow for people edit their stream, fixed hangouts with requested features and have even started to run ads on television, something Facebook has never done.
Paul Allen of Ancestry.com, not the co-founder of Microsoft, has been keeping a close eye on Google+ since it was started earlier this year. Allen has been very interested in the sites potential and growth for some reason and according to his reports (see chart below), Google+ should hit 400 million users by the end of 2012. That’s half of what Facebook is currently sitting at (800 million+) and 4 times the number they are expected to be at come February. Allen claims that Google+ is seeing signs up of 625,000 people every day, but he still thinks that number is going to continue to climb even higher.
So with Google+ continuing to grow, why does it still feel so barren? Half the people I know have no clue what Google+ is and the other half are so heavily invested in to Facebook that they “can’t” leave. There is the fear of leaving a social site you know and love and trying to make the switch to the unknown and if nobody goes with you, then what’s the point?
It’s like someone ditching Foursquare to join GoWalla (now dead) and expecting the same level of interaction they experienced with all their friends who’ve decided to stay on Foursquare, it just won’t happen. I personally like the look and feel of Google+ more than Facebook, but I still find myself on Facebook more, because most of my friends haven’t signed up for G+ or refused too. I hope this data is right and that more people I know join the Google+ world.
Which do you prefer? Are you in the same boat, with friends who won’t or haven’t joined? Let us know!