Thirteen percent of adult U.S. internet users have signed up for a Google+ account and another 9 percent plan to do so during the next year.

Despite launching only a month ago, Google+ has made a tremendous impact on the social media landscape. A new report conducted by YouGov and Bloomberg predicts that more than 20 percent of the American internet audience will join the social network over the next 12 months.

Thirteen percent of adult U.S. internet users have signed up for a Google+ account and another 9 percent plan to do so during the next year, says the report. With 25 million consumers already signed up for the social network, the number of American users is expected to cross the 40 million mark soon. This puts Google+ ahead of Twitter and LinkedIn in terms of U.S. users. This is especially notable as Brafton recently reported that LinkedIn hit a new landmark in terms of members.

Businesses that have social media content marketing plans in place stand to gain the most, as Google+ users tend to be engaged by content posted on the social network. Nearly half (45 percent) of users read content published on Google+ at least once a day, and 46 percent of users report creating content on the social network (suggesting it could be valuable for generating social advocates). These figures support Brafton’s earlier report that Google+ is gaining value as a driver of social traffic.

“Google+ is starting off extremely strong. It’s chipping away at engagement levels on Facebook and Twitter. With Google reporting 25 million accounts already and an estimated 16 million more U.S. adults reporting that they plan to join over the coming year, Google+ can be a threat to both,” Michael Nardis, head of YouGov Investment Products, asserts.

Currently, brands can’t fully capitalize on the interest in Google+ because the search giant has yet to launch business profiles. However, the company recently announced it is expediting the development of Google+ business profiles, with the feature set to be released in the next few months.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.