Google+ Invite-Only Social Networking Club Swells to 25 Million Members

Do you hear that noise? It sounds like pacing, which we imagine is what Mark Zuckerberg spends a fair amount of time doing these days as he contemplates how to fend off Google+ from one day becoming the world's largest social networking site. And before you dismiss that notion, consider this: in less than a month, Google+ has attracted over 25 million members, every single one of them by invite only.

That data comes from market research firm comScore, according to a report in the Associated Free Press, and while 25 million is a drop a bucket compared to Facebook, what's remarkable is how quickly Google+ accumulated those numbers. Google+ is now officially the fastest growing social networking site on this or any other planet that we know of, which admittedly isn't an apples to apples comparison considering Facebook and MySpace entered the scene at a time when social networking was just getting started. Still, it's an impressive start, and one that should worry Mr. Zuckerberg, even if he isn't willing to admit it publicly.

Despite the strong start, comScore's Andrew Lipsman warns against reading too much into Google+'s early success, pointing out that there's still much work to be done if it's to catch up with Facebook.

"Google+ is the fastest by a long shot but it's important to realize that fastest may not always be best," Lipsman said. "Sometimes, that slow build can lead to a strong network effect that pays long-term dividends."

Lipsman provided a bit of details on Google+ members, saying there are twice as many men as there are women using the service, and that 60 percent of Google+'s ranks are between the ages of 18 and 34.