Forget about jumping on board the Google+ bandwagon, Google's social networking service is more like a freight train picking up cargo and steam each passing day. According to Paul Allen, a Google+ user and co-founder of Ancestry.com (and not the Paul Allen who co-founded Microsoft), Google+ is already right at the 18 million user mark just three weeks after launch.
Allen uses some fuzzy math to come up with his numbers, ones that are based on his "new-and-improved 1,000 surname model." What he does is take a random sample of surnames each day and looks for ones with no Google+ users by those names. Sounds sketchy, but Allen insists it's at least moderately accurate.
"As always, I admit weaknesses in my model. Larry Page announced Google+ had 'over 10 million users' on Thursday, July 14th, but unfortunately he didn't say when they passed that milestone, or how far they had passed it by. My model showed more than 13 million users when he made that announcement, so I suppose my model could be overstating the actual usercount by 30-35 percent," Allen explains. "But if Google+ actually hit 10 million a day or two before the formal announcement, then my model may still be spot on."
According to Allen, Google+ is adding hundreds of thousands of new users each day, and sometimes close to a million. At least that's the case based on his formula, which, if Google announces 20 million users by the end of the week, is going to look peculiarly accurate.