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I think not enough emphasis is being given to audience management. If I write a blog entry, it's public for all the world to see, and, more importantly, it's public for all the world to comment on. With Google+, I can limit who can see and comment on my posts.

With traditional blogs, you don't get that sort of fine control. Either you have a post visible to everyone, or it's private and only visible to you. Either you have comments open, or comments closed. Yes, you can moderate comments, but that gets to be troublesome for anything more than a trivial number of commentators.

Google+ takes away all those problems. Your posts are visible to only those whom you're addressing in that post. In essence, Google Plus allows you to multiplex a single blog among multiple audiences by making posts only visible to certain circles.




The same can be said about Facebook, so what makes Google+ unique in that regard?


Discoverability.

It's a lot easier to find other people on Google+ based on interest. When I started using it, very few of the people I knew already were on there. I was able to search for other people interested in videogames, anime, programming, etc, and rather quickly I was part of a fairly large group of people reading and commenting on each others posts.

Discovery in Facebook is centered around groups and pages, which have a higher UX cost compared with posting a status update. On Google+, you can be found by anyone right away. And people use the sites differently because of this.

People make public posts on the assumption that what they write will be found by people they don't know yet who are interested in what they write. Facebook status updates on the other hand are usually always intended for people that the poster already knows, whether posted publicly or privately.

In the time I've been using Facebook, I can't recall once being friended (or now subscribed to) based on interests (as opposed to some existing connection). On Google+ however, I receive a new asymmetrical follow almost daily - and I'm someone with a rather low posting frequency.

This is what makes Facebook and G+ different.


You raise a salient point. I do agree as far as discoverability, Google+ one ups Facebook. As you said, Facebook has always been about connecting with people you already know, as opposed to Google+ where people add you to their social circles based on things they have in common with you.


This is the first explanation of the differences between Facebook and Google+ that has connected with me. I don't know that Google+ is what I want though --- I like finding people with shared interests, but I prefer in person.


Thanks for the explanation. I think your distinction makes sense. Facebook mimics my physical social circle very well--people I know in real life like classmates, friends, coworkers. I don't accept friend requests by people who I don't already know.

Thankfully my friends and I share many common interests, but that's a very limited audience. So I run my own blog where I post things that my friends might not be interested in, but someone will hopefully be interested in.


This comment thread is the first thing I've ever seen that actually made me want to use a social networking site. I might sign up for a G+ account based on this.


Based on Leynos's well-written post, I initially thought the exact same thing.

Then, I realised that Google runs Youtube, remembered all the recent changes in particular, my face turned green and I puked up a little inside...

If they can mess up such good service when it was handed to them on a plate, I have zero confidence in them in any new endeavours online, especially when the cost is my privacy for perpetuity.

So, thanks but I'll continue to stay well away from social networking sites.


Lacking a long history of privacy violations that culminated in the FTC decided to watch them for 20 years [1]. Also, as I understand it, not having ever used facebook, a much clearer and more accessible UI in terms of privacy control.

[1] http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/11/privacysettlement.shtm



It cracks me up all these hysterical posts about how top Google execs aren't eating their own dogfood by using Google+ for blogging, etc. If I were Larry or Sergey I think I might seriously consider attempting to salvage the last remaining shred of my personal privacy by not making my inner thoughts world readable.


Unless you're Steve Yegge, of course.




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