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Google+ expected to pass 18 million users, growth rate slows

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By the estimation of Ancestry.com co-founder Paul Allen, the Google+ network is looking at a total of 18 million users of the invitation-only social network by the end of Tuesday. Yesterday, the service added 763,000 new users which constituted the slowest day of growth since Google opened up the floodgates on July 6. The growth rate has dropped 50 percent from the peak of public interest, but Allen notes that Google hasn’t attempted to actively market the service yet. Instead, Google is focused on product improvements and testing according to Allen.

google plus growth chart thru 7-18Google CEO Larry Page indicated that the service had over 10 million users on a July 14 investor call about earnings. Eric Schmidt has indicated that the vision for Google+ is eventually to be integrated into all other Google properties. For instance, Google could easily tie profiles into YouTube’s current commenting system to create a feed of comments on videos that users watch. An even more simple integration would tie social feedback into search results, similar to the recently removed Twitter feed for real-time search. Once the Google+ service is tied into more Google properties, the growth rate should escalate quickly.

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Google also released the Google+ app today for iOS devices. It had some opening day glitches with a version that wasn’t supposed to be released, but Google quickly rolled out an update. While the Google+ app allows for selective sharing via Circles, features like chatting and video aren’t supported. Google+ is also venturing out into verified accounts for celebrities, a move likely sparked from the recent William Shatner incident. The most followed member of Google+ is currently Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg with over 250,000 followers.

Paul Allen is interested in expanding beyond tracking the number of users on Google+. He wants to watch the average number of people in circles and the average number of posts per day as well as male to female ratio. He’s also interested in the amount of people that will state that Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is their favorite social network.

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