Nearly 50 million US visitors used the social network in December, up 55 percent from the 30 million in November
As a pointer to Google+ uptake, the social networking site received 49 million visits in the US through December, up 55 percent from November, according to data from Experian HitWise.
HitWise tweeted this quick-and-dirty chart showing the rise of visits to Google+ to 49 million visitors last month, up from 30 million in November and 25 million in October, the first full month the fledgling social network became available to the general public.
Prior to this, the social network was available only to those invited to the limited field test, where early adopters got to sample the Circles sharing construct, Hangouts video collaboration application and several other features that have since been honed and refined.
The update came less than a week after Ancestry.com and FamilyLink.com founder Paul Allen said the company had 62 million users worldwide, with some 625,000 new users joining each day.
While HitWise only counted Google+’s US visitors, its chart confirmed Allen’s supposition that the social network enjoyed a flurry of activity and new members in December.
“What is really remarkable is that nearly a quarter of all Google+ users (24.01 percent to be precise) will have joined in December alone,” Allen wrote in a post on Google+. “If this rate of new signups (625K daily) continues, then Google+ will reach 100 million users on 25 February and 200 million users on 3 August. They will finish 2012 with 293 million users.”
Maybe Google owes this increase to its Google+ TV ads, including stars such as former National Basketball Association star Bill Walton, or Hangouts with Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am.
Whatever is driving traffic, Allen was sanguine on Google+’s growth, predicting it will actually complete 2012 with 400 million users.
That would equal the number of users that log on to rival Facebook each day, though that network has over 800 million total users. And as for user engagement, there’s no question Facebook beats up on Google.
Nielsen noted that users spent some seven hours a month on Facebook, compared with less than two hours a month on Google-owned Websites, including Google.com and Google+. Users did spend more than an hour and a half each month on Google’s YouTube Website.