i’ve been thinking about the whole fb vs google plus thing again lately just because i spend enough time on both so i thought i’d make two “five things” lists.
five things i like about facebook more than google plus:
1. degree of interaction on my own posts. Part of it is that i know that i’m quirky and i don’t try to conform posts in a way to get more hits, something that can be very prevalent on g+. Another is that i’m not an attractive female who works in a geeky tech industry. Whatever the reason, if i post the same thing on fb vs g+ (of which my readers are pretty much a completely different group of 1000 people each), many more people will interact with me on the fb side than the g+ side.
2. visibility of interactions on pages and groups. when someone comments on something on the TUMB page on facebook, i can see that as a little notation-number on my main feed, so i get notified even if i don’t actively visit my page. on the TUMB page on g+, i need to navigate to that page first as an admin before i see whether or not i’ve gotten any interaction, and that’s an extra step that can be easily neglected, and thus make me lose some of my audience unless i’m actively diligent.
3. currency of contact information. a lot of my real-life friends and acquaintances keep their information up to date on facebook and use facebook regularly enough that it has made it possible for me to travel anywhere and know how to get in touch with someone to hang out. particularly for holiday travel, i’ve been able to touch base with people who i’d otherwise have no idea how to contact to get together with them. contacting people privately on g+ is clunkier given that it’s much closer to a twitter paradigm than a facebook one, which makes it more difficult to have quality private interactions.
4. there are less spam accounts on fb than g+. There are many times when someone circles me on g+, i go to look at their profile page and their stream, and it’s either a spambot whose entire stream is filled with links back to some fishy and phishy website or it’s a real person, but they’re using their personal account mainly to push their own marketing and otherwise has very little original content. With a few exceptions, all of my fb friends are just people being people and not trying to be a business, knowing that if they want to do more of that sort of marketing business it should be more in the context of a Page.
5. …okay. i can’t think of a number 5.
five things i like about google plus more than facebook:
1. quality of posts on my stream. hands down, my g+ is much more interesting for me to read. What flows through my stream is a combination of personal things by awesome people, posts about similar interests to mine, quality images taken by some phenomenal photographers particularly in the realm of world architecture, and other shares of some incredibly innovative technology ideas, deep political analyses, awesome recipes, or whatever. A lot of this comes from my very direct ability to control all content that appears in my stream through circle management – i don’t circle people who post an insane amount of #caturday posts or use their stream to just share their favorite music video of the day or are too anti-Apple or anti-facebook (which can be prevalent).
2. image quality. photographs and pictures are just better on g+ in what people opt to post and share and how those images are dealt with on g+/picasa. if i upload a 1440×1280 picture on g+ i can redownload it at the same dimensions and same quality as what i uploaded. If i do the same on fb, the only download i can do is the version that fb has compressed and reduced in pixels and quality, and although i’m no professional photographer, i do consider myself an amateur and boy does that irk me.
3. trust in google over facebook there’s a faction of anti-google people out there for whatever reason, people that see it as Just Another Huge Evil Corporation. Google has made its share of mistakes, but in general the quality of the products they put out is outstanding and the mission of the corporation from the top down is something i think is pretty amazing. I’m not a huge google fanboy exactly, but i do believe in the company, particularly since i soemtimes talk to my brother about it (who is a google employee) and i trust his judgement a great deal. I trust how they do their business, what experience they try to bring to the world and the reasons behind it. I have no such trust in facebook. i believe that zuckman is pretty much just out for #1, and the decisions that are made regarding data privacy, how they try to change the user experience, and the general integrity of the company do not make me trust it.
4. google plus promotes embracing a larger community and meeting new people in a way that facebook doesn’t. With the Prolific community on facebook being the noted exception, facebook is comprised 99% of people that i know in real life whether casual acquaintances or close friends. It’s not a platform in which i can discover new people easily. On g+, almost everyone in my circles is someone that i met only through g+, and some of them have become very good friends. In that way it reminds me much more of the way that livejournal used to be when that was the dominant social platform – strangers discovered each other, interacted with each other, and could have meaningful relationships and interactions. g+ is designed to foster that same sort of discovery, and has resultantly exposed me to a wider new orleans community as well as a like-minded base of people from everywhere across the world that i feel absolutely comfortable hopping into a google hangout with and just shooting the shit.
5. i completely control my stream content on g+ and it will never involve ads. One of the big differences between g+ and facebook in this regard is that g+ is just an aspect of a larger company that already has a hugely successful model for generating revenue, so there’s no need to put ads into g+. Especially since facebook’s IPO, Zuckman is under a lot of pressure to generate much more revenue and at a much higher pace than before facebook went public, and as a result facebook has seen more intrusive advertising on both the website and the mobile app. This is absolutely the right thing for facebook to do from a business sense, but it creates a tainted user experience which can already feel cluttered as it is as well as biased with the introduction of Promoted Posts.
The Bottom Line
Facebook and Google+ are different experiences. facebook is where i go to see what my friends decide to randomly post and is also my largest audience for personal and business content. google+ is where i go to meet strangers and read content from around the globe from fascinating people that have embraced google+ as their conduit, and it’s also a much more open platform where strangers from anywhere across the globe aren’t afraid to video chat together and find some amazing connections. They both have their roles and these days i’ve been embracing both accordingly.
That said, one thing that sticks out most between the two social media platforms is my attitude about migration. As in if all of my friends on fb migrated over to g+, then the only reason i would keep my fb is to administer the TUMB pages i control for my work. By contrast, if all of my friends on g+ migrated to fb, i wouldn’t give g+ up – i would go out and find more people or different content and likely use that as my primary place of internet surfing because there’s always new stuff to discover in a way that i can tune however i want.