One month, 25 million users: Google+ is a very steep mountain (but Facebook is a lot taller)

by Knowlton Thomas | Culture

Google+ has now cracked the 25 million mark in just over one month.

We all know by now that it took Facebook 852 day to reach its first 10 million users, that Twitter took 780 days, and that Google+ took just 16.

While the site continues to break records, it did fall short of the widely anticipated 30 million users in one month hype, although in hindsight the web was getting a little ahead of itself there. Still, the social network is blowing minds with its out-of-the-box growth, and a recent comScore report suggests engagement and time spent on the site are rising metrics too.

Facebook, with is legendary 750-million user base, remains largely undaunted, though definitely wary (here and here). Twitter hasn't said much, probably because there is minimal overlap between its real-time info network and Plus. And MySpace—oh, wait, nevermind.

The number one correlation to Google+ success is Gmail. ComScore's data suggests that where Gmail is popular, so is Google+. That's how Google is able to push out of the gate with such momentum. Facebook took a starkly difference approach, staying exclusive and opening up one college at a time, while Facebook and LinkedIn grew more organically without many resources to take flight with.

Does Google+ have the potential to hit 750 million users? Many might say no, but they're probably the same people who said such things about Facebook. There's room for multiple social networks—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn get along perfectly—but overlap can kill competitors (adios Friendster, Bebo, MySpace, etc.).

How many people will leave Facebook permanently for G+? How many people will maintain both G+ and Facebook accounts? How many people will fatigue from G+'s early excitement and return to Facebook? How many people in the world are willing to join one online social network? I don't know. Nor do you. Nor does Google or Facebook. But it's doubtful that G+ and Facebook would ever merge or integrate, and with overlap in extreme in abundance between the two, this is one of those rare tech cases where the whole "company/product/service versys company/product/service" is actually applicable.

Good luck to both participants.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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