Did you find this story from a link on Google+? There was a time when a joke would have followed that question, something about G+ being an apocalypse simulator where you're the last person on earth, or something else pithy and cute. G+ didn't exactly jump out of the starting gate and shoot for the moon when it comes to active users, but the numbers have been steadily growing as more users find out how easy it is to integrate G+ into their daily Google use, and just how solid it is as a social network. Today, Google announced a new development for G+, Communities, and let it slip that monthly active users has grown to an impressive 235 million.
That figure puts Google+ at a level just under the number of active users for Twitter, but fairly distant from the 500 million mark set by Facebook. There are of course those who believe the Facebook number is highly inflated, and the company has been making efforts to reduce the number of fake and malicious accounts on their service.
We won't pretend like Google+ is perfect, but it certainly has its attractive features, and new users are adding it to their social media repertoire everyday. In fact, Google called G+ the "fastest growing network thingy ever". That sounds neat, but what do they mean? They go on in their explanation:
More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google (+1'ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search...), and 135 million are active in just the stream.
This enthusiasm, we think, stems from our building tools that build real relationshipsâ€”in a live hangout, around a breathtaking photo, or with an inner circle of friends. So today we're launching two new improvements that help bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software.
In addition to the good news about growth, Google announced a new addition to the G+ experience, called Google+ Communities. They hope that these communities will become "more permanent homes" for the things that users enjoy reading about. Communities act very similarly to circles, so it will be fairly familiar to current users. You can think of these communities as central gathering points for people of similar interests, from the local level to international topics. The communities haven't shown up yet, but users can expect to see them very shortly.
So, have you joined the Google+ network?