Google released some eye-popping numbers today alongside its unveiling of Google+ Communities, the company's response to Facebook Groups. (Watch a demo of how it works below.) In a blog post, senior vice president Vic Gundotra says "Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever" with more than 500 million people having signed up for the service. Surprisingly, 235 million of them are active users.
I know what you're thinking: Isn't Google+ a ghost town? Who are these "active" folks?
According to Google's own tally, that 235 million figure includes anyone who +1s an app in Google Play (which recently forced once-anonymous users to sign in with their G+ accounts), uses a Hangout in Gmail (which are really fun!), or connects with friends using Search.
As for how many of those users are in the Google+ stream itself (i.e. plus.google.com), Google says it's more like 135 million.
That's "still an impressive number," says Chris Davis at SlashGear, "though [that's still] the minority in comparison to the more than 500 million who Gundotra says have upgraded their account." Josh Wolfrod at WebProNews notes that 135 million monthly active users hardly constitutes a "ghost town." Compared to the 100 million announced back in September, it means Google+ is "on a rough pace of 160 million new active users in a year."
Take a look at Google+'s new Communities feature:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- 7 of the scariest spiders in existence
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Why isn't 'Arkansas' pronounced like 'Kansas'?
- Internet piracy isn't killing Hollywood
- What's wrong with Europe’s economy?
Subscribe to the Week