Sep. 27, 2011 at 9:16 AM ET
Reports of Google+'s demise may have been greatly exaggerated, as the upstart social network exploded in traffic last week after the service opened up to the masses.
Experian Hitwise shows " a massive spike in market share of visits for the site, with a 1,269 percent growth from the week ending September 17th to the week of September 24th. The site also received nearly 15 million total US visits last week," notes ReadWriteWeb.
A week ago, G+ removed its velvet rope of invitation-only admittance and allowed anyone to join, which seemed to result in the crazy numbers for a site that has been breaking records since its debut at the end of June.
The online traffic surge of nearly 15 million visits led to G+ catapulting to the No.3 most visited social network in Hitwise's Social Network and Forums category, behind the No. 2 Twitter (33 million) and the No.1 Facebook (1.7 billion). YouTube was a distant second overall to Facebook's visits, with 530 million. G+ was 8th overall on that list, with this shocker: the still-beating MySpace is ahead of it, by one spot, with 16.3 million visits during the same time period.
While the stats for G+ are impressive, they don't even include mobile users or those who come in through the Google notification bar.
Just a week or so before the site went completely public, reports surfaced that pointed to G+ finally reaching a plateau and perhaps even a precipitious drop, based on a decrease in blog posts.
But this uptick, which is really quite substantial, could signal another boost. Or, it could be that initial peek from those left out. Let's see if they stick around, or go back to Facebook, which is facing its own problems with its monumental changes. The timing couldn't have been better for G+ to open to all.
In August, G+ had 25 million users and now entrepreneur Paul Allen (not to be confused with that Paul Allen), who's been tracking G+ use and membership as a self-described "Unofficial Google+ statistician" says membership should be right around 43 million by now. Back in the beginning of G+, oh so long ago, we looked to Allen for his stat magic, as he predicted G+ was going to surpass 10 million users, not quite two weeks after its release, and it came to be.