It may be because of the brand appeal, the TV commercials, the Android 4.0 release, or the general holiday spirit (or rather, blatant commercialism) that Christmas brings, or an amalgamation of all these factors, but there is no doubt that the number of new user signups for Google+ each day has grown rather rapidly in the past several weeks. Google+ has apparently just passed the 62 million user mark, and adds about 625,000 new users daily, according to unofficial Google statistician Paul Allen.
Allen's explanation of his analysis:
Each week my team from elance runs hundreds of queries on various surnames which we have been tracking since July. We revised our model based on the actual user announcements made by Google on July 13th and Oct 13th.
Here is what the tracking shows so far:
July 13 - 10 million
August 1 - 20.5 million
September 1 - 24.7 million
October 1 - 38 million (Larry Page announced "more than 40m users" on Oct 13th)
November 1 - 43 million
December 1 - 50 million
December 27 - 62 million
January 1 - 65.8 million (forecast)
February 1 - 85.2 million (forecast)
If his statistics are accurate, then nearly a fourth of all current Google+ users will have joined the social network during the month of December alone. Allen predicts that if this user join rate continues, Google+ will be on track to reach 100 million users on February 25th and 200 million on August 3rd. By the end of 2012, it could reach a whopping 400 million users, not too far from Facebook's current population at the moment.
Allen says that "based on the accelerated growth I'm seeing and all the dials and levers Google can still utilize, and the developer ecosystem that will be developed, I predict that 2012 is going to be a breakout year for Google+ and that it will end next year with more than 400 million users." If that's the case, then Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook better be prepared for a worthy rising competitor. SlashGear readers, what do you think?