July 7, 2011


Google+ is Awesome. Facebook Maimed, Twitter Mortally Wounded? (Keith Kleiner July 6th, 2011, Singularity Hub)

Google+ is like Facebook. The interface looks almost identical, with the classic three column homepage seen in Facebook. But the differences start to kick in immediately when you try to make friends.

In Facebook, you cannot friend someone unless they friend you back. And once that person does friend you, for the most part they see all of your updates and you see all of their updates. The result is a privacy nightmare and a news feed filled with everybody´s junk. Most of us have not fully appreciated these glaring problems at Facebook because until Google+ came around there was no other game in town to show us how bad they were. Now we know better.

Instead of treating all of your friends as equals, Google lets you put them into different groups, called circles, such as “friends”, “acquaintances”, “family”, “sports fans”, and so on. These circles represent a powerful innovation. They allow us to send more personal updates just to our closest friends instead of forcing us to share with all of our hundreds of acquaintances. This simple task is not easy to do within Facebook. Furthermore, Google+ allows us to chop up our incoming news stream based on what circle they are coming from, so that we can focus on just the updates from our family or just the updates from our coworkers.

The Google+ circles concept is powerful and easy to use. It represents the defining, foundational difference between Google´s and Facebook´s vision for social networking. If this new model takes off with users, then Facebook will find itself in the uncomfortable position of having to replicate these features within its own platform. Unfortunately for Facebook, moving to this new paradigm will not be possible overnight. We are talking about a major architectural overhaul (update: I mean major as in the backend and more importantly the UI. It will probably be hard for Facebook to integrate this model into their UI in a way that is intuitive and widely adopted by users). In the meantime, Google will have a chance to attract significant numbers of users and influence..

All Friends are not equal.

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Posted by at July 7, 2011 5:42 AM

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