That prediction of 400m users by end of 2012 is perfectly feasible based on the metrics as presented and the subsequent assumptions. Wonder what the numbers look like for active users, however that's defined – no mention/prediction.
Reshared post from +Paul Allen
Google+ Growth Accelerating. Passes 62 million users. Adding 625,000 new users per day. Prediction: 400 million users by end of 2012.
Google+ is adding new users at a very rapid pace. It may be the holidays, the TV commercials, the Android 4 signups, celebrity and brand appeal, or positive word of mouth, or a combination of all these factors, but there is no question that the number of new users signing up for Google+ each day has accelerated markedly in the past several weeks.
Each week my team from elance runs hundreds of queries on various surnames which we have been tracking since July. We revised our model based on the actual user announcements made by Google on July 13th and Oct 13th.
Here is what the tracking shows so far:
July 13 – 10 million
August 1 – 20.5 million
September 1 – 24.7 million
October 1 – 38 million (Larry Page announced "more than 40m users" on Oct 13th)
November 1 – 43 million
December 1 – 50 million
December 27 – 62 million
January 1 – 65.8 million (forecast)
February 1 – 85.2 million (forecast)
What is really remarkable is that nearly 1/4th of all Google+ users (24.01% to be precise) will have joined in December alone.
If this rate of new signups (625k daily) continues then Google+ will reach 100 million users on Feb. 25th and 200 million users on August 3. They will finish 2012 with 293 million users.
I expect the growth to continue to accelerate however. Google can continue to integrate Google+ into its other products and word of mouth will continue to build. Most importantly, 700,000 Android devices are activated daily and this will become a very significant source of new users for Google+. That number will also grow next year.
As more users sign up, the value of the network will increase for everyone. The network effect will become powerful. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect
It won't be long before new users start encountering family and friends as well as the thriving tech and media sharing community that embraced Google+ early on.
And as more Google+ APIs are released next year, developers will be able to build experiences on top of Google+ and make it even better.
Based on the accelerated growth I'm seeing and all the dials and levers Google can still utilize, and the developer ecosystem that will be developed, I predict that 2012 is going to be a breakout year for Google+ and that it will end next year with more than 400 million users.
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Good time to be very proficient with G+