Interests vs Updates (by Andrei Barburas)
May 18, 2012
So here we are, almost a year after Google Plus was launched; the confusion is still there; is it Google Plus or Google+ (with the plus sign)?
I haven't been using Google Plus as much as I would want to. I could not point out the main reason, but it seemed like I always used to visit Facebook first. By the time I was done checking Facebook (maximum 2-3 minutes), I was already bored of social networks, so I used to carry on with my work.
The reason I said "using Google Plus as much as I would want to", is simply because every time I visit Facebook, I rarely click any links and trust me, the number of people I have as friends, is far bigger than the people I follow on Google Plus. On the other hand, every time I visit Google Plus I open at least 5 links.
So what gives?
Yesterday, I read this interesting article by PhilH (yes, link from Google Plus), and pretty much all of it makes sense. If you have 5 minutes, I would suggest you check it out. And to prove my point about Google Plus being more interesting than Facebook, here's an excerpt from that article:
'So basically if you want a place to share and view content with a network of rather intimate friends who you already know then FB is for you. If you’re looking for a place to find people that share your interests whether you know them or not then Google Plus is for you.'
So what now?
Well, the answer is simple: If you want to discover interesting things, a cleaner interface, no noise (no ads, no farming), even a big white space, then Google Plus is for you. If you want game notifications, stupid links ("You won't believe what this dad made his daughter do"), and most of the time irrelevant articles, then stick to Facebook.
Even though a lot of people still do not understand what Google Plus is about, they still complain about it, when in fact it's easier to use, faster to understand, no hidden privacy settings an definitely less intrusive than the "Friend" concept. A lot of people gave up on Google Plus on the first day they used it; Facebook has been modifying their layout constantly, people complained about it, yet they carried on with their life and used it as it was. Even with the new Timeline, which has a very unnatural reading flow, is now being used by everybody, simply because "if you're not on Facebook, you do not exist". Here's where you're wrong...
Since Facebook became our "favorite" mean of communication with our friends, I have the feeling that friends started interacting physically, less and less. We already know what they're up to (status updates) and if they post something stupid on Facebook, it gives us another reason not to contact (call, meet) that so called friend.
On Google Plus things are a bit different; based on the people I follow, I barely know what's happening with my friends. They all post links or pictures to content that they find interesting, allowing me to discover that we may or may not share the same interests. According to me that gives me more reasons to contact them and drink a coffee together. If they don't post anything, chances are that they don't really use Google Plus, so if I'm really curious, I'll log in to Facebook.
Where is Twitter in all this?
Lately I've been using Twitter mostly, if not always, on my cell phone, while I am waiting for my train or tram, or when I am smoking a cigarette. I discovered that it rarely happens when I am at home, simply because I don't use my cell phone as much. As a result, for me Twitter has become the mobile way of seeing what's happening in the world; it became a different type of socializing.
So what now?
Like I said earlier, it's all up to you; do you want interesting content or a replacement to calling your friends?
You can find me on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
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