Google+ Startup Beats Twitter, Facebook

Google+ is going great guns right out of the gate, with the site starting out far better than rivals Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace did.

Google+ , the social network Google launched just over a month ago, already has more than 25 million visitors, according to Comscore, an Internet traffic watcher.

Comscore said Google+ hit the 25 million visitor mark just shy of its one-month birthday.

Meanwhile, Comscore notes that it took Facebook about 35 months to get 25 million visitors. It took Twitter more than 30 months and it took Myspace more than 20 months to reach the 25 million-user mark, Comscore added.

"I'm mainly trying to put Google+'s exceptional growth in context by showing that Facebook is today the clear market leader even though it took longer than all its key competitors to reach 25 million," said Andrew Lipsman, a vice president at Comscore.

Lipsman added that at this point it's unclear how many of those 25 million Google+ users are regular users of the site or are simply people curious to take a look at the new site.

"It's hard to ignore the impressive growth numbers so far, but I think there are also many visitors who are still dipping their toes into the pool but not yet ready to dive in," he said.

He also noted that Google+ is still in a field trial phase and that users can only join the social network by invitation.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, agreed that the Google+ numbers are impressive, but he added that they're not surprising.

"Come on, they've got Google behind it," said Olds. "The visitor count is probably a combination of looky loos and actual users who are getting their profiles in shape."

And he also noted that just because Google+ is out of the gate faster than Facebook and Twitter, there's still a long way to go to usurp them.

"Facebook was the first truly mass market social network and, along with Myspace, was the pioneer," said olds. "They were mostly unknown and had to build up their brand from the ground up. Google+ comes into an environment where social networking has a lot of mindshare and users, and it has the Google name attached to it and Google resources behind it. Its hit count should grow pretty quickly."

The Comscore report noted that the U.S. leads in Google+ visitors with more than 6,440,000 from home and work computers (not from mobile devices). India comes in second with more than 3,600,000 Google+ users. Both Canada and the U.K. have had more than 1 million visitors and Spain rounds out the top 10 with more than 460,000.

And Comscore also pointed out that 63% of Google+ users are male.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

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