Report: Google+ now the third-largest social network

According to Experian Hitwise, the social network saw a surge in traffic last week after it opened membership to the public.

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Beyond Steve Jobs’ retirement and next week’s unveiling of the iPhone 5, the big Amazon announcement today, and, of course, the Facebook changes, there’s Google+, the social network that weeks ago seemed bound for the island of failed Google ideas.

Now the site’s traffic and membership are surging.

According to widely reported data from Experian Hitwise, Google+ saw 1,269 percent growth last week after dropping its invite-only status and opening the social network to the public. It is now the third-largest site in Experian’s ranking of social networks and forums, according to Experian Research Director Heather Dougherty.

Google+ also grabbed about 15 million U.S. visits last week, pushing it to No. 8 on the list of most-visited social networks, up from No. 54 the week prior.

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