Search giant Google’s social networking foray, Google+, is steadily gathering steam, owing primarily to users in India and the US. Within weeks of its launch, the site, which is still in its beta phase (one needs to be invited to join it), has seen nearly 20 million users signing up.
According to Comscore data, the number of unique Google+ visitors stood at 19.93 million between June 29 and July 19. Users from the US and India — 5.31 million and 2.85 million, respectively — emerged as the top countries on Google+. Another 0.87 million users were from the UK, 0.71 million from Germany, and 0.5 million from France.
Google has not commented on the Comscore data. However, last week, Google chief executive Larry Page had said there were “over 10 million Google+ users”. While announcing the company’s quarterly results, he said, “Google+ is only in field trials and has limited access, as we scale the system. Users have to be invited to sign up with a profile in order to use it...There’s also a tonne of activity. We are seeing over one billion items shared and received in a single day. Our +1 button is already all over the web. It’s being served 2.3 billion times a day.”
Still, Google+ numbers pale in comparison with Facebook users — over 750 million. Even micro-blogging site Twitter accounts for over 200 million registered accounts.
However, Google remains the market leader. According to a ComScore press release in May, Google became the first company to ever record one billion visitors in a month across all its properties, which include the search engine, YouTube and maps, with Microsoft coming second (a little over 900 million users).
Google+ indexed around 4.5 million users on FindPeopleOnPlus.com — a directory of Google+s users that sorts users by criteria such as location, occupation, relationship status and popularity. Around 55 per cent of the users were from the US and 18 per cent (six per cent in round one of the indexing) from India. While the actual numbers could not be confirmed, 18 per cent of the estimated 20 million global users are from India.
FindPeopleOnPlus.com also says Google+ is dominated by techno-savvy users. With 29 per cent engineers, 17 per cent developers and 14 per cent software designers on Google+, the site is drawing information technology professionals from across the globe. Companies like Infosys, IBM, Accenture and Google are among the top five represented on Google+.
In the last three weeks, ‘Google+’ was the most searched keyword by Indian users on search engines. Users from Hong Kong came next, followed by UAE, Pakistan and Thailand. Users from the 25-34 age group accounted for 38.37 per cent of all visits (for the four weeks ending July 14), according to FindPeopleOnPlus.com data.
Idealab founder Bill Gross said, “I think Google is doing a great job by listening to users and working like crazy to improve Google+.” In another update on his Google Plus page, Gross says, “Can't wait to see what Google+ has in store for brands. I think it is going to be great. I think it’s GREAT they are thinking about it this way — that brands/companies and individuals are different.”
Pinstorm founder Mahesh Murthy and co-founder Seedfund believe Google+ scores heavily over Facebook. “On Facebook, everything you say is to everybody, while on Google+, it’s easy to build groups or circles of different people — family, colleagues and alumni — and only share content with the group you want to share it with.”
Google’s earlier attempts to grab the social networking space saw feeble success. It could not create a ‘Wave’, generate a ‘Buzz’, nor make Orkut grab eyeballs in markets outside Brazil and India. In India, Orkut has been steadily losing marketshare to Facebook. Compared with Facebook’s 31 million users, Orkut has around 18 million.