Sunday, August 7, 2011

Google+ Flood Gates Are Open, 60 Million Users By August 31st?

 

Never before have I seen a company so methodically, and in such superior way, push out a new web service, like Google has done in the last six weeks with Google+.  The new social network has become the fastest growing web platform ever, and that’s before they even opened up the flood gates yesterday morning.

Flood Gates Are Open
For the first five months, the service would only allow one to create an account if they were invited in an email by someone already on Google+.  This meant that only those people who had heard about Google+ and went through the trouble of asking a friend to invite them, were really using the service.  This all changed yesterday when Google updated the invite system to a link, good for 150 new users.
If you search Facebook or Twitter for “Google+ invite,” you would be amazed at how many links are posted.  The crazy thing is, that when clicked, many of these links have already exhausted their 150 sign up limit.  In the end though, anyone looking to sign up can probably find an active invite link within a minute or two.  The influx of new users in the coming week should be staggering.  With over 25 million users on the service as of early this week, I think we could see upwards of 60 million users by the end of August, and that estimate may be low.
Operating on All Cylinders
Not only is the social network growing rapidly, but the people behind the platform are operating on all cylinders.  We have seen numerous changes, and added features, already, in the early going, and dozens of Google+ employees take time out of their day to host Hangouts, in order to get user feedback.  From my experience, the Hangouts have been very productive, with people from all over the world commenting on possible additions and fixes to the network.  It’s amazing to be able to talk to the people who built this service from the ground up, and give them advice, as well as suggestions.
Google is keen on getting this social platform right, burying the past failures which have likely been used to learn from.  Unless there are major missteps ahead for the company, I think we have a winner in Google+.  Estimates have shown that within a year they will catch up to Twitter and their 200 million members.  In my opinion, it may be well under a year, as long as they continue to operate in the methodical, intelligent way they have been for the past six weeks.  There are so many features coming to Google+ in the future, as well as ways in which Google will leverage their other properties to drive traffic to, what they likely see as the central point to, all things Google.