Google Plus opened wide to the public a couple of weeks ago, but since then, there’s been very little in the way of official updates. Until this week, that is. There’s a ton of news this week regarding Google Plus, including some eye-catching statistics on membership and service usage. In addition, Google Apps are on the way, with Google Plus integration coming “in the next few days.”

Google Plus Has 40 Million Users

Larry Page this week said on the record that Google Plus has 40 million users. While that’s a far cry from Facebook’s 700+ Million, it’s still pretty impressive for a service that is so young–people forget Google Plus is only a few months old.

And let’s face it, Google Plus doesn’t have to defeat Facebook in order to be a success. Sure, they’d probably like to topple Facebook, or at least rival it, but they certainly don’t have to. 40 million is a pretty huge number in terms of users/members for any web-based service.

Google Apps Coming To Google Plus

Naturally, Google doesn’t plan to rest on its laurels with the 40 million users, and plans to continue aggressively adding new features and tools.

Like Google Apps. The Senior VP of Google Plus, Vic Gundotra, said this week that Google Apps will be coming to Google plus “within a few days.” That’s something a lot of users and developers have been clamoring for, so it should come as welcome news.

It should have the added benefit of making Google Plus even more useful for a whole lot of members and potential members.

Google Plus Members Sharing Photos Like Crazy

Another incredible stat this week regarding Google Plus usage has to do with photo sharing. A whopping 3.4 billion photos have been shared on Google Plus in the last 100 days.

3.4 billion. Let that sink in… it’s okay to be amazed–even Gundotra appears to be amazed, saying, “That’s a big number even by Google standards.”

Using Page’s own number of 40 million users, then that’s an average of 85 images shared per user, in just 100 days. It’s practically one photo per day per user. And that’s not even taking into account that many of those 40 million users are brand new, having just signed up in the last two weeks… which means early users were sharing photos at an astronomical rate.

Are You On Google Plus Yet?

I hear some murmuring among my own Facebook and Google Plus contacts that Google Plus is still just too much of a ghost town. A few have even abandoned the service.

But I think they’re just not using it right. Or not using it in a way that maximizes its potential, at least. Because if you think of Google Plus as both Twitter and Facebook combined (and heck, considering the above stat on photos, might as well throw Flickr in there too), then there should never be a shortage of entries in your stream. Beyond just friends, family, and coworkers–many of whom may, indeed, not be on Google Plus–there are a host of really interesting people in all walks of life, both celebrities and average citizens. Following people on Plus the way you would on Twitter is a great way to keep the service interesting and useful… not to mention full of new content almost all the time.

And while I think it goes without saying, news regarding the growth and usage of Google Plus is hugely important for video marketers to keep up with, as it could potentially join Twitter and Facebook as one of the most important means we use to get the word out on our creations. Some video marketers might even see the early growth as an opportunity to cement themselves as some of the most interesting people for other users to follow.

So, are you on Google Plus? If so, are you using it? Are you thinking of dropping it? Let us know in the comments below.