On July 22, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google+ had 20 million unique visitors in its initial three weeks. The ComScore data suggested that 5 million were from the U.S. This lead to headlines, “fastest growing social network.” After all, it took Facebook 1152 days and Twitter 1035 days to get this many customers.
However, these data should not come as a tremendous surprise, even though Google+ remains invitation only.
- Google has an enormous customer base: more than 1 billion unique visitors to its search page.
- Facebook launched in 2003, when there were far fewer people online and even fewer with high-speed access.
- Twitter launched in 2006 and is a niche service when compared with either Facebook or G+.
- In the intervening years, not only have more adults gone online, more have begun setting up profiles and frequenting web sites designed to mimic offline social interaction. [Note that Google is restricting the age to 18 during this field trial.]
I believe it is impossible for Google to sustain this growth rate.
Image: Leon Håland on G+