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Google+ Goes Ballistic

Photo of Pete Goold Pete Goold 22/07/2011

With an estimated 20m users  in a matter of weeks since launch and the service still in Private beta, "The Google+ Project" has gone ballistic.

We're loving it at Punch, with many of the team already signed up (check out the profiles for Pete, Alex, Keredy, James, Will, Emilie, George, Erica, Phil, Benedict and Georgina). Also, we're enjoying playing with the mobile apps.

What appeals most is that fact that the service draws from the proven functionality of services such as Instagram (one click photo sharing), Skype (multiple video conferencing), Twitter (followers rather than fans) and Delicious (with the sparks social bookmarking) - whilst presenting the core 'Streams' layout in a format that's familiar to every Facebook user.

We've found some great tools and tricks this week from a variety of sources. You can import friends from Facebook via Yahoo mail, create a vanity url as a redirect and export followers from Twitter.

There has been a good deal made of the fact that businesses are being asked to keep out for the time being – although Google was apparently inundated with requests when it opened the doors for initial submissions last week and has now confirmed that all brands and businesses will be welcomed "within a matter of months".

Unofficial estimates indicate that at this rate the site will reach 100m users in three months – and this graph shows the disparity between the time taken for G+ to reach 20m users, versus Twitter and Facebook.

Clearly the game has changed and, as one colleague put it, G+ now has the advantage of a captive and educated audience – but with such change in the last few days alone, it's hugely exciting to participate in how this develops.