By Marcus Leach

Google have announced a 26% rise in profits for the three months to September as they continue to take on Facebook with Google+.

The internet search giants saw their third quarter income hit $2.73bn (£1.74bn), up from $2.17bn in the same period last year.

This follows on the back of their social network, Google+, being launched earlier this year, which, according to Google chief Larry Page, is proving to be vastly popular.

"People are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate," said Google head Larry Page.

"We had a great quarter. Google+ is now open to everyone and we just passed the 40 million-user mark."

The profits were well ahead of market expectations, and shares in the company rose 6% in trading after the market closed.

Despite the relative success of Google+ there is a long way to go in the battle with Facebook, who have around 800 million users.

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