January 17, 2012, 8:01 PM — Lady Gaga has nearly 47 million Facebook fans and more than 18 million Twitter followers.
Now the singer is bringing her powerful celebrity spotlight to Google+, the latest manifestation of the search giant's "celebrity acquisition plan" for its growing social network.
Under the CAP, the allure of mingling with famous people on a social network will attract millions of
gullible potential marketing targets regular people, fueling Google+'s growth as it seeks to pose a legitimate challenge to Facebook.
Lady Gaga is hardly the first celebrity to join Google+, and she'll have her work cut out for her to become the most-followed person. Right now that distinction belongs to Britney Spears, who is in 1.45 million circles on Google+.
Only three other celebrities are in more than 1 million Google+ circles: Snoop Dog (1.29 million), Tyra Banks (1.08 million) and Richard Branson (1.01 million).
Those are verified celebrities, by the way. Unlike on Twitter, where anyone can pose as Dead Steve Jobs. Thanks to Google's celebrity verification procedure, if a member of Google+ claims to be Dead Steve Jobs, you can be assured it is Dead Steve Jobs.
After about three months as an invitation-only social network, Google+ was opened to the public in September. While traffic initially skyrocketed, it fell off by 60% within three weeks.
Google says it is committed to a long-term growth strategy for Google+, which has a long way to go to catch Facebook's 800 million monthly users.