Google+ is "the fastest-growing network thingy ever" Google's Vic Gundotra has claimed, with 235m active users on the social network. The latest batch of activity stats comes as Google launches Google+ Communities, its challenge to Facebook Groups and other online discussion boards, though the 235m figure doesn't mean that every one of those users are regularly hitting up the Google+ site.
In fact, the 235m figure includes anybody who +1's an app in Google Play, who uses Hangouts in Gmail, or who connects with their friends in search. Around 135m are active in the Google+ stream itself, still an impressive number, though the minority in comparison to the more than 500m who Gundotra says have upgraded their account.
"During the holidays we reconnect with loved ones and rediscover what makes us tick" Gundotra writes. "And it's times like these that remind me why we started Google+ in the first place: to make online sharing as meaningful as the real thing."
With the addition of Google+ Communities, meanwhile, Google may well cut through some of the new-user confusion any social network faces. The Communities will eventually feed into search, meaning they're likely to be discovered - and participated in - by users seeking out similar topics and themes, such as cookery or cats. Once they start using a Community page, a greater user of Google+ in general is likely.