Google+ can now say that it has more than 62 million users -- but not active monthly users, according to an unofficial analyst Paul Allen.
Allen is an Ancestry.com founder and unofficial traffic analyst for Google+ that looked at the goring, young social network and announced his findings yesterday afternoon.
Google+ has been growing substantially the last few months as it has announced dozens of new tools, partnerships and ad campaigns.
iAllen does not explain how often or at what depth users have been experiencing the site, but it is promising that the site has conned to see growth, months after month.
Last week, comScore explained that G+ had grown to at least 67 million monthly unique visitors in November -- that was up 2 million from October numbers. But that number is larger than the Allen estimate and so no the public has a range of 62 million to 67 million.
Reasons for the difference can come from the methodology used to sample the population in Google+.
Allen estimates that, by his calculation, Google+ is adding 625,000 new users per day and will hit 400 million users by end of 2012.
This week, Google+ stared running a new set of TV commercials, focusing on the Google+ Hangout feature and has recently added a fair number of the Android features to broaden appeal.
Here are Allen's growth estimates of thos past year:
July 13 - 10 million
August 1 - 20.5 million
September 1 - 24.7 million
October 1 - 38 million (Larry Page announced "more than 40m users" on Oct 13th)
November 1 - 43 million
December 1 - 50 million
December 27 - 62 million
January 1 - 65.8 million (forecast)
February 1 - 85.2 million (forecast)
In his calculation, Allen pointed out, "What is really remarkable is that nearly a fourth of all Google+ users (24.01% to be precise) will have joined in December alone."
Google+ continues to need positive press and pushes to drive its growth and traffic numbers and hasn't seen much independent growth in sustained usership since its start but I have always been a fan of their tools, design and approach, just not of the sparse activity that users find when they are on the social network.
Earlier this month, Google+ added a "Find My Face" feature that interested the public in the social site's direction. "Find My Face" does pretty much what its name suggests -- It finds photos of users that people in their circles have uploaded, and gives the option to tag. Individual photos can be un-tagged, or users can turn off the feature altogether.
SImilarly, Facebook raised a lot of eyebrows when its facial recognition software was implemented during its most recent update as a default, with a somewhat confusing "opt-out" procedure. Despite the company's insistence that everything was on the up and up, and their facial recognition software would only make sharing pictures easier, they were brought under investigation by European privacy regulators.
It won't be long before new users start encountering family and friends as well as the thriving tech and media sharing community that embraced Google+ early on.