The Google+ project, launched on June 28, is now the fastest growing social network ever with over 25 million members, according to a report from Web tracking firm comScore.
Google+ has, so far, out-paced the meteoric rise of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, comScore vice president for industry analysis Andrew Lipsman told the AFP.
The site is also catching on globally with significant membership in India, Britain, Canada, and Germany, according to the study. A July 2011 comScore study found that Google+ had attracted "20 million visitors in 21 days" and that the United States was home to approximately 5.3 million Google+ users. India was the country with the second-highest number of users on Google+, with 2.8 million members from India.
All good signs, but the big question for Google+ remains whether it can make a permanent dent in the social networking world.
Tech fans have closely followed the rise of Google+ during the past 5 weeks, trying to determine whether the social network will succeed amid a flurry of mixed reports--and staunch competition from the likes of Facebook, which has over 750 million members.
For example, PCMag on July 28 reported that Google+ traffic had begun to drop, but a Google spokesman quickly countered the report, telling PCMag that Hitwise's data was merely a "blip on the radar."
A recent report from Experian Hitwise showed visits to Google+ fell 3% for the week ending July 23, compared to the previous week, and that average time spent on the site fell 10%. Meanwhile, comScore’s research shows people spent about 50% more time on the network in the week ending July 24 than in the week that ended on July 10.
Prior to comScore's most recent study, the consensus about Google+'s success has been mixed.
In July, SocialStatistics.com released a stat that claimed roughly nine out of ten Google+ users were male. This prompted Business Insider to issue the following warning: "GOOGLE+ WILL EVENTUALLY FAIL unless it attracts something it doesn't yet have: women." However, two days later, All Things D countered that stat, writing, "[N]ew analysis performed by Paul Allen of FamilyLink and Ancestry.com shows a very different gender balance. Using a method he calls 'surname-based random sampling,' with which he correctly predicted Google+’s 10 million member milestone, Allen found Google+ to be 66.4 percent male and 33.6 percent female."
The social networking site also drew ire from its users after Google deleted accounts due to doubts over their authenticity. In some cases, real users who had used a pseudonym when setting up their Google+ profile saw their accounts closed, much to their dismay.