On Saturday I completed my first analysis of Google's userbase using surname distribution data from the US Census Bureau. Using an admittedly flawed model, I estimated then that Google had 410,773 + users as of 7/2/11.
Here is the original post: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117388252776312694644/posts/g9Xk6khUSs8
Today I squeezed in enough time before and after our local parade, and before our Fourth of July picnic to update my model and do a much better analysis. I increased the sample size from 50 surnames to 79 (I would have done 100 but ran out of time), and I split out users from the US and from outside the US. I had to look at hundreds of profiles to determine US vs. non-US. Unfortunately, not everyone lists their location yet, so I had to infer it sometimes from their circles and language they were using. Sometimes I found them on other social networks and could resolve the question that way.
I am confident this new model is significantly better than Saturday's.
Here are the latest conclusions:
Google+ currently has 515,933 users in the U.S, and 1,226,136 outside the US for a total of 1,742,069 users.
Unfortunately, the non-US estimate may be exxagerated because one of the surnames the US Census bureau considers very uncommon in the US turned out to very popular in India. More than 15 times as many people in India with that surname are G+ users than in the US. The surname in question is "Kothari." Does anyone know if it is one of the most popular surnames in India? Better yet, can anyone point me to a database of the most popular surnames for India? If Kothari is one of the very most popular names in India, then my non-US numbers may be high.
I plan to continue improving the model by increasing my surname sample and my including surname popularity data from other countries if I am able to find such data.
If you have any other suggestions for me, please let me know. I intend to update this frequently, so that I can track user growth over time.
- Petra UniversityJournalism and Media, 2006 - 2010
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