It’s the question every social media head has been dying to have answered: how many users does Google+ have?
The new social networking service, which Google only launched two weeks ago, has already registered 10 million people, according to CEO Larry Page.
Okay, the naysayer might pipe in, so there’s been a lot of hype. Any old startup, let alone one of the most famous tech companies in the world, could get 10 million people to sign up for just about anything. But how’s engagement?
Page says Google+ is seeing over one billion items shared and received in a single day. For some perspective on that statistic, Facebook reports that it sees more than 30 billion pieces of content shared each month. If Facebook and Google are counting the same kinds of shares (the former specifically says it’s counting Web links, news stories, blog posts, notes and photo albums), then both social networks are now seeing an equal same number of shares.
But that can’t possibly be right. After all, Facebook has 750 million members--75 for every one on Google+.
I’ve reached out to Facebook to confirm that its data is up to date and to Google to clarify what it’s counting as an “item.” This piece will be updated when we receive reply.
Even if we give Facebook the benefit of the doubt, even if Google is counting every single little comment and +1 (and if Facebook isn’t doing the same with comments and Likes), this is still a huge milestone. In the first couple days of its launch, Google Buzz had only seen nine million posts and comments in total, a tiny fraction of the activity happening on Google+. And while Google Buzz was made instantly available to every Gmail user, Google+ is being rolled out slowly through invites exclusively.
If Facebook and Twitter weren’t paying attention before, they are now.
“Our goal with Google+ is to make sharing on the web like sharing in real life, as well as to improve the overall Google experience,” said Page. “Circles let you choose with precision who you are sharing with. Not surprisingly this has been very well received, because in real life, we share different things with different people.”
“Hangouts allow for serendipitous interactions. Like in real life when you run into a few friends. It gives you seamless and fun multi user video and it’s really amazing!”
The Google +1 button for the Web, as we already know, is also doing well. Page says it is being served over 2.3 billion times daily.