If you're desperate to get on to Google+ but are still awaiting your invite, stay calm: Google's new social network is growing incredibly fast, according to one unofficial study. So your chance to join in the Circle-dancing fun on G+ can't be far off.
According to G+ user Paul Allen (not the Paul Allen that co-founded Microsoft, though), Google+ is "growing like crazy". In a post published over the weekend, he estimated it had 4.5 million users, and had grown nearly three times in a single week. Allen said he's post a more detailed report, with up-to-date figures, later today.
Plus is getting a lot of attention because - finally - Google seems to have done a social network right. All right, I know Orkut was big in Brazil. I'm talking about a social network for everyone who isn't in Brazil.
It's true, much of the discussion on Plus is about features of Plus, and how neat Plus is for sharing stuff. But generally speaking, the tone of those comments is very positive. People like using Plus. It has a lot of features people like, and lacks a lot of features that people find annoying on rival services. The use of Circles to divide up friends is particularly popular, despite the initial work required to create Circles and put people into them.
Internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose likes Plus so much, he's decided that his personal domain kevinrose.com will point to his Google+ profile from now on. Not everyone is convinced of the wisdom of that idea. Danny Sullivan, an expert on search engines, criticized the idea, saying, "Your own domain is for life. Google+ is not."
His point is that web services don't last forever. Remember Geocities?Remember TheGlobe.com, which was the Facebook of its day back in the late 1990s? Both of them gone.
Google+ is growing fast because people are very keen to see what it's like there. Whether they stay for the long term, like they did at Facebook, is a question we'll be able to better answer five years from now.