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Everybody knows that Facebook is where it’s at these days when it comes to social networking, but you might not know it by looking at the explosive data growth of Google+, which a new report claims has grown faster than Twitter, MySpace and yes, Facebook did in their salad days.
AFP (via Google News) is reporting that Google+ is the fastest-growing social network to date, eclipsing the early growth of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter with 25 million unique visitors as of July 24 -- not bad for an invitation-only walled garden. According to comScore, it took far longer for Google’s rivals to reach the same plateau.
How long? At a panel discussion about Google+ hosted by Wedbush Securities, comScore vice president for industry analysis Andrew Lipsman claims that MySpace took 22 months to hit 25 million users, while Twitter and Facebook were late bloomers at 33 and 37 months, respectively. By comparison, Google+ hit that milestone in less than a single month.
"Obviously, this is a very strong growth trajectory," Lipsman said, while cautioning that the Google mothership already “has a really large user base it can build off of” with more than a billion users worldwide -- and it still has a long way to go in playing catch-up with Facebook’s domination of 750 million members.
"Google+ is the fastest by a long shot but it's important to realize that fastest may not always be best," Lipsman concluded. "Sometimes, that slow build can lead to a strong network effect that pays long-term dividends."
Google+ also has the advantage of launching in an age where early adopters are plentiful, with 6.4 million users in the United States, 3.6 million in India, 1.1 million each in Canada and Britain and 920,000 in Germany. As widely reported in recent weeks, men are more dominant on Google+ by “about two to one,” and 60 percent of the users are between the ages of 18 and 34.
Despite blasting out of the gate, Google+ may find it harder to reach the next level of success, however. "I don't see (Google+) taking significant share from Facebook in the next 18 months," comments Steve Rubel, executive vice president for global strategy and insights at Edelman, a public relations firm.
“What we have seen is that over the years there's never been a social network or community that has had significant staying power," he said. "There's always a shuffling every two or three years, a changing of the guard. We saw it with MySpace.”
And we all know how that story ended.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter