Google+ swells to 50 million users

Posted by Mark Raby

It sure seems easy to build a strong social network when you're a company like Google.

The online giant has already managed to encourage 50 million people to sign up for its own Facebook rival, Google Plus.

Online analytics enthusiast Paul Allen has come up with the figure. Google hasn't announced publicly that it has reached the milestone number of users, but given how quickly it has managed to rise from nothing to a formidable social network, it wouldn't be surprising if the number was indeed valid.

Of course, as an online powerhouse Google has been threatened by Facebook practically since day one, and since then it has been a game of the two giants trying to one-up each other.

Now, it's time for the search powerhouse to prove it can still innovate, and indeed it has. Since launching Google+, Facebook has wildly upgraded its service, making for a very healthy competition between the two.

One of the areas Google still needs to work on, though, is social gaming. Facebook takes 30% of all monies spent on games and any other transactions that take place within Facebook.com.

Meanwhile, Google+ only keeps 5% of revenue earned by developers, which is quite an enormous difference. That could help when it tries to court developers.

Google+ just recently added a social gaming platform, which could spell big competition for Facebook, especially considering Google's much more developer-favorable revenue system.

However, Facebook still isn't worried, and has championed itself as being "the most open platform around."

Last month, Facebook's Sean Ryan said, "We’re not an investor in Zynga like Google is, or like Google is in Kabam, or an owner of Slide. We’re not. We’re an open platform."