Paul Allen, the Ancestry.com founder now turned unofficial Google+ statistician, crunched the numbers on his Google+ account with help from a temp staff and said about one-quarter (24 percent) of all Google+ users signed up in December alone. If those numbers keep up then 293 million users by the end of 2012 for the social network seems possible.
Google can continue to integrate Google+ into its other products and word of mouth will continue to build. Most importantly, 700,000 Android devices are activated daily and this will become a very significant source of new users for Google+. That number will also grow next year.
A jump of 12 million users is significant in any month, especially for the much-maligned Google+ which is typically dismissed as a second-rate Facebook. (We have previously questioned Allen's data-gathering, which relies on the use of 150 common last names, and it is only one kind of statistical projection.) The truth is that Google+ has only been in existence about six months. Facebook has about six years on the social network, so comparisons between the two wouldn't be very flattering for Google.
By next year, we will see if Allen's forecast comes close to reality.