Google Plus is growing quickly. Very quickly. A few days after it launched, I wrote about how badly I wanted them to remove the restrictions on joining and open the new social network up to everyone. Then, just a few days later, they opened up a huge window that allowed many new users to finally join. And now there are some serious signs of rapid growth for the fledgling Facebook competitor.
If you're a Google Plus user, the odds are good that there's suddenly a lot more activity on your Stream, as there is with mine. The number of my own connected friends have increased tenfold in just the last three days. Hangouts–the awesome group video chat tool–is now quite useful and fun. But there's evidence beyond just my casual observations that Google Plus is growing like a weed in the social media garden.
Google Plus Growth – The "Evidence"
First, we have this Plus post from entrepreneur Paul Allen (founder of Ancestry.com), who uses a little math to suggest there may already be as many as 4.5 million Google Plus users on the service. Remember… Google Plus is roughly one week old. That's astounding growth.
Then, over the weekend, there was so much activity for Plus, that they ran out of disc space on a server that handles their notification system, which caused some users to get "spammed" over and over again with notices. The company fixed the issue pretty quickly, and has apologized for the problem. But again… when users are growing at a fast enough clip to fill up a Google server unexpectedly… you know you have rapid growth.
We're also seeing some pretty passionate support for Google Plus from some of the more prominent people in technology. Kevin Rose, for instance, has redirected his official domain name (kevinrose.com) to his Plus profile page, saying:
"Decided to forward http://kevinrose.com to my Google+. G+ gives me more (real-time) feedback and engagement than my blog ever did."
Some people, like Charles West of Adroinica, are saying they've already deleted their Facebook profiles. And news outlets like the International Business Times are predicting Plus will take Facebook down.
Finally, ZDnet shared some eye-popping stats from a BrightEdge study that show intense growth for those little Google Plus "+1″ social buttons that website publishers can add to their content. In fact, in terms of the number of publishers using buttons like this for the various social media properties, Google Plus has already passed Twitter:
We may not have enough to convict in a court of law, but from the circumstantial evidence we've compiled, it's clear that Google Plus is guilty. Guilty of growing at an alarming rate, and probably much faster than anyone anticipated, especially Facebook.
And I realized something when i was reading about Kevin Rose's URL redirect: Google Plus has elements of both Facebook and Twitter–all profiles are public, and anyone can follow your public stream whether you're "friends" with them or not. Everyone's talking about Google Plus as a Facebook competitor, but I'm starting to think Twitter should be just as nervous.
Video creators and video marketers ought to be watching this new service with eagle eyes, as social media has become the primary way to get the word out on new video content. Most of us just want to go where the viewers are, and right now they're heading for Plus in a huge way.
Are you on Google Plus yet? If so… give this article a "+1″ for me, will you? And also, let us know what you think about it so far in the comments below.