An enthusiastic Paul Allen (not the Paul Allen of Microsoft fame, but founder of Ancestry.com) predicts continued adoption of Google+, the social network which launched earlier this year, saying that it is on track to reach 100 million users by the end of February 2012. Allen penned this forecast as part of a post on Google+, where he also released an independent estimate that the site now has 62 million users worldwide.
Allen, whose verified name on Google+ lists him as founder of Ancestry.com and “unofficial Google+ statistician,” has reportedly been tracking the number of new users who sign up for Google+ and adjusting how he and his team count when Google releases official statements on the number of members. On October 1, Allen says his estimates pointed to about 38 million users; not two weeks later on October 13, Google pronounced the figure at more than 40 million.
Google+, which first appeared as a beta social network in late June of this year and finally opened up to the public in September, garnered a lot of early attention for its potential to become an alternative to Facebook. However, despite the numbers, activity on the social network hasn’t lived up to expectations. While a small number of users seem to be use the site fervently, Google+ doesn’t have as much social activity or connectivity as its primary rival—so far.
Another one of Allen’s predictions for Google+ in the year ahead is that the Network Effect will take hold, meaning the more people use Google+, the more valuable the site will become for everyone on it. However, there’s a big difference between using the site and joining, which has been the primary reason for lackluster response to date.
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