Later today, Ancestry.com founder Paul Allen (and not the Paul Allen with Microsoft roots) plans to post exactly how many users he thinks have flocked to Google+ so far, based on his calculations. In the meantime, Allen says the upstart social networking service is "growing like crazy" and probably has more than 4.7 million users already. If you're a Google fan, that's an encouraging sign, and a big first step towards competing with Facebook, the current king of social networks.
"On Monday morning I plan to publish my latest research on how many Google+ users there are so far," Allen said in a blog post. "My model is based on U.S. Census Bureau data about how many people there are in the U.S. with each surname. I've described before the shortfalls of this model for calculating non-U.S. users. But I haven't seen a better methodology from anyone else yet about estimating Google+ growth, so I'll continue to work on this one."
Allen notes that as of last week, "there were a large number of uncommon U.S. surnames with no Google+ users by those names." By yesterday, that "large number" dwindled to "very few."