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Google+ surpasses 62 million users

The social network has grabbed more than 62 million users as of December 27, according to Google+ unofficial statistician Paul Allen.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Google+ has captured more than 62 million users, at least according to one "unofficial" count.

Chiming in with his own Google+ post yesterday, Ancestry.com co-founder and Google+ unofficial statistician Paul Allen reported the latest numbers as of December 27.

Running queries on different surnames to gauge the number of total users, Allen and his team found a surge in daily signups over the past several weeks. Around 625,000 new users have been hopping aboard the social network each day, which means almost a quarter of all Google+ users joined in December alone.

Assuming that rate continues, Allen's crystal ball sees Google+ hitting 100 million users on February 25, 200 million on August 3, and 293 million by the end of 2012. But can Google maintain and even increase that growth rate? Allen believes so.

"I expect the growth to continue to accelerate," Allen said. "Google can continue to integrate Google+ into its other products and word of mouth will continue to build. Most importantly, 700,000 Android devices are activated daily and this will become a very significant source of new users for Google+. That number will also grow next year."

Google itself has been shy about releasing user numbers for its social network. A company spokeswoman told CNET that Google doesn't have any comment on Allen's latest reports. The most recent data released by the company came from its October 13 earnings call, when CEO Larry Page revealed that more than 40 million people had signed up for Google+.

Google has been busy the past few months integrating Google+ into more of its products, such as its core search engine. The company has also been fine-tuning its social network by adding more features and sanding over some of the rough spots. It also unveiled its Google+ Pages in early November in an attempt to reach out to the business world.

Still, Allen's numbers alone don't paint the full picture. His team records how many people Google+ is signing up. But they don't factor in how frequently those people actually use their accounts. Data from ComScore and Experian Hitwise released this past summer showed a decline in the number of weekly visits.

More recent data from ComScore found Google+ with 65 million global visitors in November but with no clear indication how often those visitors return to the site.

And rather than just relying on word of mouth, Google realizes that it also now has to tap into the world of advertising, using such celebrities as the Muppets to promote its social network to the average user.