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How Many Google+ Users So Far?

I have completed an initial analysis of the current size of the Google+ userbase using surname and population data from US Census Bureau. I will explain later how my model works and how it is flawed, but here is what I have learned so far:

With 6 popular surnames in the model, the estimated Google+ user base was 645,000 users.

With 39 surnames, the model estimated 593,000 users.

And with 50 surnames, the model estimated 587,000 users.

The model's output doesn't change wildly as more surnames are analyzed. That is reassuring. However, my model is flawed. I'm using US surname popularity data, finding how many Google+ users there are with each surname, and then extrapolating to total users worldwide. I tried to limit the surnames I analyzed to those that are highly concentrated in the US, but I need to try harder. I included "Kaufmann" for example, which gets a lot of matches from Germany that I didn't omit. Using that surname alone the model shows 2.1 million G+ users worldwide. Thus, my model overestimates worldwide users when it uses surnames that are not only common in the US but common elsewhere.

In brief, here is my model:

The surname Cooke is the #996 most popular surname in the US. The Census Bureau estimates that there are 29844 Cookes in the US. I found 74 Cookes on Google+ so far. That would be .002479% of the total Cookes in the US. Taking the official current US population estimate of 311,677,540 and dividing multiplying it (thanks, Gaspar) by .00002479, you get 772,823 Google+ users, if all other surnames had the same distribution in the US as they do on Google+.

To improve the model, I need to either 1) find and use worldwide surname popularity data - instead of relying on US data only - or 2) I need to limit my surname matches in the Google+ user base to US only users, which would take a great deal more time. It would require looking at each profile page if the location was not apparent in the Google+ search results. And then, I would need to come up with a way to estimate world users of G+ to supplement my highly accurate estimate of US G+ users.

I'l probably use the latter approach for my next analysis, and I'll end up with an extremely accurate US G+ users estimate.

For the time being, given that my model overstates worldwide users because I have a number of surnames that are somewhat common elsewhere, I'm just going to irresponsibly guess that my model is flawed by 30% and so the number of Google+ users worldwide is exactly 410773.3, not including cats. :)

Before I blog about all this, I'll improve my model and have a better approach to US vs. Worldwide users.

But I think I'm done for today.
Olivier Contant's profile photoHendarsyah Febryan's profile photoAsif Khan's profile photoMack Smith's profile photo
Fascinating. Looking forward to more results.
Paul, great idea and analysis. Corrrect me if i am wrong - but since G+ is not open to everyone yet, can the percentages be extrapolated to the entire US population? Not everyone who can be on G+ is on it yet.
A bit easier could be just to ask the people from google ;-)
How can u get user surnames from google+?
To find how many G+ users there are with any given surname, just use the "Find People" search box in the top navigation, and then count the number of Google Profiles who have joined G+ who have that surname.

I don't count first name matches. The 50 surnames I chose to use are among the 990th to 15,000th most popular surnames in the US. I didn't use Smith or Johnson or Li or any incredibly popular surnames, otherwise I'd still be counting....
What about to take into account of all those folks that do not have traditional names on G+? In the US alone, and +James Cordeiro I told you that there had to be at least millions.... :D

Taiwan apparently has the highest count, and on the chart I saw, the US was not even listed....

Millions my friend millions.... in beta.. within the first week...

When this is released publicly..... Huge...

I love being here from the beginning.. well at least as a 2nd dayer.... +Linda Lawrey
+Rdn Tmsn the amount of people with google profiles who have been sent invites, or have invites awaiting them, yes definetely millions. The amount of users using G+ - no way can be millions ;) The amount of people with google "profiles" yes - just take a google profile search (privacy allowing search) for my name as an example, a very popular first name ;) - - not very many have G+ accounts ;) - G+ is in a limited user base, but, since I don't work for Google I can't confirm any numbers, only best guess with research and experience ;)
profiles, most - take a click, you will notice are either Google employees, high in the technical chain, or are google profiles connected to Buzz or other Google public tools. The math above for surnames and other analysis is something that can happen when G+ is public, but to have such a large audience during beta and fixing stage, not the smartest idea to have high loads and mass users. imo
The first 3 for the results shown to me with first name james have G+ - went through the next 10, all public Google accounts, no G+
I can not wait to see something official about it....
Those are more query based, the only reason I didn't use those for this thread is due to query of content with the phrase "james" rather than first name or surnames in profiles "name" :)! But those are definetely helpful for +Rdn Tmsn :)! Great tools I'm sure most are unaware of :D
Those are from find people search box from G+, stripped of other unnecessary whatnot
Take the account - , +James Corr who is in people find, but, does this mean he can login? or see's this post yet? - maybe now that he has been tagged it may push him to access and post something. Remember, whomever is in gmail contacts is part of someones circle. This does not mean they have access, yes they are in people find - anyone with a google profile seems to be part of people find. This, does not mean they have access. I hope that clears some confusion - but, a Google rep can be the only one to really give this a definitive answer =/ so we can go back and forth with data that is available, and the research we can all find one way or another.
"estimate of 311,677,540 and dividing it by .00002479, "
you mean multiply, right? :)))))
Whoever is in Gmail contacts is part of someone's circle. This does not mean they have access, yes they are in people find.

No. You can't find those in your Gmail contacts who do not have a profile.

Anyone with a Google Profile seems to be part of people find.

No. I checked someone with a profile (first version) and another (second version) but both did not have a G+ upgrade. The profiles weren't searchable.

So returns only G+ Profiles. Those who upgraded to G+
There were probably a million peeps just in the first couple of days... I am still just guessing though.. Just given the interactions of everyone that I had. I am still pulling in about 100 folks of new followers a day just about...
I Invited 10+ friends in G+~·
+Theofrenz Cayambas i think the method to count current Google+ users is not quite accurate, if you look at the numbers at top of page 1 of the Google+ SERPs only. For example, i search: [Surabaya]. Google calculates about 23.800 results for the query, but show only results with profiles / Google+ Profiles. After skip 10 pages after 10 pages, The SERPs stop at Page 27. Total 269 Google+ users from Surabaya (27 pages with 10 users per page). So please try to find the actual numbers by visit the last page of the Google+ SERPs for your Location Query. This method has a lack. the Google Profile SERPs cannot exceed 100 Pages, so if your location have Google+ Users more than 1000, this method cannot show the actual numbers. Query: [Manila Philippines]. Google calculates about 81.300 results. Manual skips end at Page 56, show 554 Google+ users for query [Manila Philippines]. CMIIW.
You can't see/go beyond 100 pages, that's right.

But it doesn't mean there are only 10x100 indexed G+ profiles. It only means you are being limited from seeing beyond 10x100pages.
And they are trying to double the number of users, I can imagine that the number is growing...
I'll be up for hours updating my numbers. 
:) numbers are only numbers - just a perception in my eyes
"Study your math, kids! Key to the Universe!"—Christopher Walken as "Gabriel" in The Prophecy
+Christopher Angus I ran the model earlier today with 100 surnames and came up with 769,000 US users and 2.4 million worldwide users. I ran it with a different set of 100 random surnames and came up with slightly lower world number. What makes you think it's 2.59m users? That's very close to what I'm thinking.
+Paul Allen do those surnames happen to include the other language names? I have a circle with different languages including chinese character names ;)
Most of the surnames I have randomly chosen are uncommon in the U.S., but also exist outside the U.S. My model does not have any way to include surnames that do not use the Roman alphabet. (Even though I heard the product is available in like 41-42 languages already). I'd love to collaborate with a couple linguists and statisticians and make this project more public and more accurate.
If you happen to find any of linguists please let me know lol! A rhyming website ( ) I run is in need of people who know languages - I'm not even that great at english lol.
I have used searching Google+ and Facebook+ for a not very common name and got 7.5 - 10 millions. (Yesterday).
FB user base (~750 millions) / FB_name_count * Google+_name_count
May be it's possible to find out how overestimated are Facebook numbers :)
By comparing these two approaches.
Christopher Angus, cool query! But take into account that some of the results are unaccepted invites. Though on my few examples there were not a lot of them.
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