Report: Google+ Hits 400 Million Upgraded Accounts

Today Google’ Senior Vice President, Engineering, Vic Gundotra, released a post welcoming Nik Software and updating current Google+ stats. According to Gundotra, 400 million users have “upgraded” to Google+ since public signup opened to all.

Of the 400 million users, 100 million users are monthly active users of either plus.google.com or the Google+ mobile app.

Gundotra stated that the active users today are derived from both mobile app users and those who visit plus.google.com:

“While Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it’s also a destination. And here too, I’m happy to report that we have just crossed 100,000,000 monthly active users on Google+ (plus.google.com and mobile app).”

UPDATE: In July Google announced that the Google+ had 150 million active users as a social layer (+1′s from websites, those who used circles in gmail, android users who +1′ed an app, etc). The number released today was the first time any data on plus.google.com and Google+ mobile usage have ever been released. While both numbers are “active monthly users” they are very much apples & oranges.

In July 2011, Google+ had just 10 million users, then in October the numbers jumped to 40 million users. In January, Google began forcing user to create Google+ enabled accounts and by April, Google+ had 170 million users.

Now? 400 million “upgraded” accounts.

As always the biggest question with any Google+ numbers are — what exactly do they mean?  Are these users actually using the service? Are they performing actions +1′ing, sharing, posting? Are they just somehow hitting the plus.google.com domain?  It’s safe to bet that of the 400 million upgraded accounts a large quantity had no idea that they were even upgraded. As Danny Sullivan reported earlier this year, Google+’s reporting on  usage numbers is frustrating to say the least.

So how does that compare to Facebook?  Well, not great.  Facebook reports a 955 million active user base. It should be noted that Facebook’s user counts come from monthly active users, not just account creation like the Google+ 400 million number.  When Facebook contacted us earlier this year they clarify how they derive their active user number:

“As you indicate, the (active user) number is a monthly active user number.  An active user is someone who has visited Facebook.com and logged-in (or been logged in) or who has taken an action with a Facebook feature (e.g. clicked “like”, etc…).  If the user doesn’t do any of those things for 30 days, they aren’t considered an active user.  If they only see social plugins across the web–even if those social plugins include social context such as friends’ photos, friends’ likes, friends’ recommendations–but doesn’t click anything, they are not an active user.”

Additional reports do back these growth numbers up for the year-over-year stats. In July we reported that Google+ traffic was up 66% and that users spend more than 12 minutes per day ‘in the stream.‘  For more information please read the following article:

Postscript:

We’ve updated the story and title based on communication with a Google representative. This is the first time that this active monthly user number has ever been released and is not the same as the active monthly user number from Google I/O in July. To clarify any confusion please contact Google via a comment on Vic’s initial thread here.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Google | Google: Google+

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About The Author: is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • Aaron Berlin

    This is just my recollection, but the numbers given at I/O were really fishy – they were careful to distinguish between “active users” which were numerous and constructed so it was basically co-extensive with users of any Google product that has plus integrated, and “users that access the stream located at plus.google.com”. The numbers today are much more specific and, I believe, don’t really show any evidence of decline. But they’re also Google’s numbers.

  • Aaron Berlin

    Also, contrary to what you say in your post, the quote you have from Facebook says that their “active users” figure is inclusive of both those that merely log-in and those that interact with a Facebook feature outside of http://www.facebook.com, not the combination of the two. Visiting facebook.com constitutes “taking action” so long as you’re logged in.

  • myrstad

    Your title “Monthly Active Users Drop by 33% is wrong, and you know it, as you have taken a quote from Vic Gundotra, but only part of it. Here is the total quote, after being asked about the difference between the 150 million numbers in June and 100 million numbers now: “The numbers at I/O were google+ users all across Google. So gmail users who used circles, or Android users who plus oned an app etc were included. Today’s number of 100m is just on our plus.google.com destination site and the mobile app. Pretty amazing”. What Gundotra is saying, is that the definition of active users in June and now are quite different. I’d really wish that Google would be more transparent about their engagement statistics, but as you can see there is no basis for a title proclaiming a decline in active users.

  • http://twitter.com/gregfinn Greg Finn

    Thanks so much Aaron, updated & clarified that sentence :)

  • myrstad

    Thanks for engaging, Greg! One way to see it is that the 150 million monthly users from June is a “social layer number” and that the 100 million monthly users from today is a “social platform number”. With such different definitions, it would be wrong to operate with percantage changes. For what we know, the “platform” number in June could have been 75 million (compared to 100 million now), and the “layer” number right now could be 200 million (compared to 150 million). And then we would have a growth story, would’nt we? I really would want Google to be more transparent. But I do think that we now have a “real” monthly active network user number, 100 million, to compare other platforms with.

  • http://twitter.com/gregfinn Greg Finn

    Absolutely. Also spoke with a Google rep and updated the article. Going to be posting a new article tonight as well just to what this number really means.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GregFinn Greg Finn

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