After a halt to further invites at the end of June, Google+ has brought back its invitations and experienced a minor growth spurt of about 2.2 million users in 33 hours.
Ancestry.com founder Paul Allen estimated Google+ had 4.5 million users already last week and predicted the user base would reach ten million by the end of today (July 12) and 20 million by the weekend.
Allen released a “membership model” he devised by randomly selecting 100 uncommon U.S. surnames and tracking the number of Google+ users with those names. He assumed the growth in users with those surnames is similar to the growth in users with approximately 150,000 other surnames in the U.S.
In the release posted on his Google+ profile, Allen stated that having the resources to include 500 or 1,000 surnames in the sample would probably make his model more accurate but his time and budget for the project are small. With Facebook seeing a loss between 1.6 and 2.8 million users in April, according to Nielsen, Mark Zuckerberg might be interested in doling out a short-term loan.
While Allen’s “low budget” sample may not be completely accurate, even with a wide margin of error, the model is impressive. But, then again, this is coming from the guy who has mulled through the history volumes to offer you a service that puts you only a few clicks away from finding your great uncle six times removed. So plus one for Google+ for its great boost into social networking; I am now off to post this on Facebook.