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Paul Allen  (Source:
Paul Allen's statistical analysis says Google+ achieved 7.3 million users July 10, and will reach 10 million users today

If the internet is the wild west, then Mark Zuckerberg is a cowboy who has mastered quite a bit of the terrain with 750 million visitors to his Facebook saloon. But, as seen in many old western films, there's occasionally a showdown accompanied by the cliché, "This town isn't big enough for the both of us." While Facebook hasn't met its match quite yet, Google+ may be well on its way. 

Google+ launched only two weeks ago, but in its short time on the web (and despite its invitation-only testing phase it's currently in) the social network is blowing up, and many predict that it will be a suitable rival for Facebook. 

According to Paul Allen, founder of, Google+ achieved 7.3 million users on July 10. His statistical analysis also estimates that Google+ will acquire 10 million users today, and if Google keeps the invitation button active, it will reach 20 million users by this weekend. 

"My model is simple," said Allen. "I start with U.S. Census Bureau data about surname popularity in the U.S., and compare it to the number of Google+ users with each surname. I split the U.S. users from the non-U.S. users. By using a sample of 100-200 surnames, I am able to accurately estimate the total percentage of the U.S. population that has signed up for Google+. Then I use that number and a calculated ratio of U.S to non-U.S. users to generate my worldwide estimates.

"My ratio is 1 U.S. user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users. That ratio was calculated on July 4th through a laborious effort, and I haven't updated it since. That is definitely a weakness in my model that I hope to address soon. The ratio will likely change over time."

While Allen works on updating his method, Google+ continues to expand and the question on many minds is whether Google will pull the plug on the invitation button at some point or not, eventually limiting the number of users that can access the field testing phase. But whether it does or not, many current users have expressed their fondness of the fresh-faced social network.

"I predict that Google+ will go from 0 to 100,000,000 users faster than any other service in history," said Bill Gross, founder and CEO of technology incubator Idealab. "The service is great. It is timely. People are engaging with it like crazy. There are rumors that there are already 4.5 million people. That might be high. It might be as low as 1 million, or even lower, but my guess is that it's more than 1 million people already.

"The next year will tell. Will there be bumps in the road? Sure. Will Facebook and Twitter fight back with more innovation? Of course! But I'm saying that Google+ is already good enough, and the team on Google+ is being so responsive in a way that makes me believe they have a real winner here."

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Think the invitation mechanism is all hype
By BSquared on 7/12/2011 11:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
As soon as G+ went Beta, I had an invite the same day from Google, ever since I've invited about 300 people. I dunno about anyone else, but I don't think theres a limit on invites, specifically for the fact that everyone and anyone I know on G+ has invited about a dozen and more people themselves. This sounds a lil too much like being given 10, 50, and then 99 invites for GMail beta back in the day. Tell everyone it's limited admittance, and people go wild trying to get into it, hence artificial demand. Half the people I invited haven't even bothered to use it, and half of the half that do use it, already are complaining theres really nothing to do on it, other than use it just like twitter.

RE: Think the invitation mechanism is all hype
By stburke on 7/12/2011 11:47:41 AM , Rating: 3
If I may be so bold as to ask for one? I ditched facebook 5 months ago and have been waiting for a good alternative.

RE: Think the invitation mechanism is all hype
By cjohnson2136 on 7/12/2011 11:49:53 AM , Rating: 2
I can send you an invite just give me your gmail address

RE: Think the invitation mechanism is all hype
By JonB on 7/12/2011 3:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
I could also use an invite. Doing some class research.

By Ravioliolio on 7/13/2011 12:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
If there are any left I'd love an invite, and I'll start passing some out as well.

By danjw1 on 7/12/2011 12:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
My brother has tried to invite me and my other brother and neither of us have gotten them. So something is blocking that.

By FayKnaim on 7/13/2011 2:29:17 PM , Rating: 2

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