Google’s latest foray into the social networking market has seen its fledgling Google Plus service find itself a bit of a cult hit, with the world seemingly clamoring to get into the beta service.

GooglePlus

According to research by Ancestry.com’s Paul Allen, Google Plus has already reached the 10 million user mark, despite the social network not yet being open to public at large – a truly impressive feat.

Even more impressive though, is Allen’s claim that Google Plus will manage to double that figure and reach 20 million users by, wait for it, this weekend!

The rate at which Google Plus has grown is also worth noting – the Plus user base has grown a massive 350% in just six days.  Remember, you still can’t access the service without an invitation.

In order to track the growth and user numbers for Google Plus, Paul Allen used the names of members and cross-referenced them with the U.S. Census Bureau according to ReadWriteWeb, so we tend to believe the results to some extent, but not entirely.

To determine these figures, Allen used surname-based analysis, a tactic he’s quite familiar with from the years he spent at Ancestry.com. His model uses U.S. Census Bureau data about surname popularity in the U.S. and compares it to the number of Google Plus users with each surname. He also split the U.S. users from the non-U.S. users in his analysis, since Google Plus is open in international markets, too.

Allen used a sample of 100 to 200 surnames to estimate the total percentage of the U.S. population who has signed up for Google Plus. He then used that number and a calculated ratio of U.S. to non-U.S. users (one U.S. user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users) to generate his worldwide estimates.

Google can only be happy with these results, especially considering the doors aren’t yet fully open.

There appears little doubt Google is on to a winner this time around, after the debacle that was Buzz. The only real question remaining is whether Google can really take on Facebook at a game it essentially wrote the rules for.

With Facebook’s 750 million users firmly entrenched, can Google convince them to up sticks and migrate to the new upstart?

20 million down, 730 million to go.

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