Google+ is still in beta and only a small user base has the privilege of giving it a long test drive, but it made a huge splash amongst iPhone users – more on that in a bit. According to one analyst, Google+ user base is just under 18 million.Google Plus iPhone App

During a Thursday earnings call, Google said its service now has more than 10 million users, who share about 1 billion items each day, including 2.3 million uses of the “+1” feature.

Yesterday, Apple added the Google+ iPhone app to the App Store, and it became the most popular free app. It is a small milestone for Google, if you want to call it one, but it’s a clear message that Google has the potential to become a major player in the social arena. The only win here is to compete with Facebook and if Google says anything otherwise, they are kidding themselves.

While people are still signing on for Google’s social experiment, sign-ups have slowed in recent days according to Paul Allen (not the same Microsoft Paul Allen), but the founder Paul Allen.

Prior to this app, iPhone and iPad owners have been forced to use an HTML5 version that Google offers online. Although it allows for basic Google+ access, it lacked the Huddle IM system and other components.