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Google+ global unique visitors up 66% since November

A new study from ComScore shows unique visitors jumped to 110.7 million last month -- which would put Google+ at just over one-tenth of Facebook's 955 million active users.

Google+ is growing rapidly, according to new data from research firm ComScore.

The social network's U.S.-based unique visitor tally jumped to 27.7 million last month, up 82 percent over the 15.2 million people who used the service back in November. On a worldwide scale, Google+ had a similarly strong performance, jumping 66 percent from 66.8 million unique visitors in November to 110.7 million in June.

The data, which ComScore furnished to CNET, was first reported by Kontxt communications consultant Morten Myrstad on his Google+ page.

Google+, which launched last year, got off to a strong start during its first month, hitting 25 million visitors. Since then, however, debate has raged over how the social network counts its users. That debate hit a tipping point in April when Google senior vice president of social Vic Gundotra wrote in a blog post that "more than 170 million people have upgraded to Google+."

Although some believed that it was an actual user tally, Gundotra was quick to point out that judging Google+ by its user base is all wrong.

"You have to understand what Google+ is," Gundotra said in an interview with CNET in April. "It's really the unification of all of Google's services, with a common social layer. We really mean anyone using a Google property, signed in as a Google+ user, and taking advantage of the social graph. It's pretty stunning number."

In other words, Google analyzes its social network's usage not by how many people actually send in updates or hold chats with friends, but by the social activities they engage in across its many services.

Regardless, Google+ has a long way to go to catch Facebook. The social network announced yesterday that it now has 955 million active users worldwide.