New York -- It is time to get real about Google+ and their user base as it has been nearing around a year now since Google's social network opened its doors to let the sun shine in, and on Monday, the search engine giant announced that its Google+ now has over 400 million registered users and more than 100 million monthly active users, a significant milestone for the year-old social network.
Google has relentlessly been trying to steer people away from direct comparisons between its novel social service Google+ and Facebook, arguing that the Google site is an integrated element in the company's overall online services rather than a standalone social humongous like Facebook.
Though they are still nowhere near what Facebook has on their own top network in the universe, but today Google drew an inevitable comparison, when executive Vic Gundotra wrote on the Google social site that Google+ now has more than 100 million monthly active users.
“It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we could not have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months,” Gundotra, said in a post. “While Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it is also a destination.”
However, in a subsequent comment about his Google+ post, Gundotra clarified that those 100 million people are visiting plus.google.com on the desktop, the mobile Web, or the Google+ app. Initially it was somewhat unclear how Google was counting “active users.”
Apart from computing active users, it seems that Google uses two main metrics to gauge Google+ usage. One is use of Google+ across what the company calls “the social spine” of Google. That includes things like +1's on apps inside Google Play, or use of YouTube by signed-in users. At its Google I/O developers conference in June, the company said 150 million people a month were using Google+ in that way.
Besides, today's statistics reflect the other metric: use of Google+ as a destination. This marks the first time Google has released any information about monthly Google+ visits.
“The numbers at I/O were Google+ users all across Google,” Gundotra wrote in response to a question from a Google+ user. “So Gmail users who used circles, or Android users who plus-one'd an app etc. were included. Today's figures of 100m is just on our plus.google.com destination site and the mobile app. Pretty amazing.”
Strangely though, by comparison Facebook touts nearly 1 billion monthly active users, which means that Google+ is roughly one tenth the size of Facebook. A few months ago, Twitter announced 140 million active users. So, if we are going by the networks' own claims, Google+ is still chasing.
Nevertheless, if you are still not part of the Google+ party, you will be able to join in on the fun in a jiffy if you have already got a Gmail account. Google has made it above and beyond easy to integrate your Google experience from top to bottom -- the same login works for a wide variety of environments including YouTube and Google Drive as well as Google+ and Gmail, if you want.