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Google+ Growth Points to Serious Facebook Competition ; SocNet Demand Is Big Enough for Both

Google+ now has 62 million users and is on track to reach 400 million by the end of 2012, according to Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com and unofficial tracker of all things Google+.

Allen says that as of Dec. 27, there are about 625,000 new users are joining Google+ each day—and the growth will only accelerate. "If this rate of new signups (625k daily) continues then Google+ will reach 100 million users on Feb. 25th and 200 million users on August 3. They will finish 2012 with 293 million users," he wrote. "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."

Now a Part of Search

Increasingly, it appears that Google+ will be, within a few years at the latest, a serious contender to Facebook. The site has begun implementing Google+ brand pages into search.  It also introduced a number of tweaks and changes to its newly-launched format to keep interest up and improve areas of complaint.

comScore Weighs In

comScore, as well, reports on Google+'s growth: in a recent report it said that the site surged to 25 million global users faster than any other social network in history, reaching that figure in less than a month. It took Facebook 36 months and Twitter 33 months to reach that milestone.

One Social Network?

The comScore report also noted that social networking is becoming the most popular online content category in worldwide engagement – accounting for almost one in every five minutes spent online. That is a 6% increase from March 2007.

Such numbers suggest that the market for social networking platforms may be larger than expected. They also point to a universal appeal of the phenomenon: social networking accounted for at least 24% of all time spent online in the culturally different regions of Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East - Africa.

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