I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I’m most active on Facebook and Twitter – I really don’t post on Google+ very much, maybe a picture here or there every couple days. I just wanted to organize my thoughts here on why I use Facebook and Twitter more than Google+, when I feel that Google+ really is superior to what I feel are its two biggest rivals, at least as far as social networking goes.
I suppose the most obvious answer is that since FB and Twitter have been around longer – and I’ve certainly been on them for a while – there are more users. And there is the matter of bringing users over. My wife Jessica is on Facebook and Twitter, but not on Google+. And when I asked her if she wanted a Google+ invite, she asked me why. After all, all her friends were primarily on Facebook. She’s not a sucker for technology like I am, and she won’t jump to a new social site just to try it out. She just wants to talk to her friends, catch up on how everybody and their kids are doing, and so on. Technology for technology’s sake is definitely not her cup of tea. (I have a sneaking suspicion that this is true for most people. Just call it a hunch.)
Despite how much everyone complains about FB (I’m not kidding – apparently no one sees the irony in joining Facebook groups where all you do is complain about Facebook), no one seems to mind all that much. (It seems to me that most people like to complain, and they’re not happy unless they do have something to complain about.) And if they’re all more or less content to stay there, why undertake the hassle of switching?
Lack of integration
A big reason for me to stay with using FB and Twitter is TweetDeck. I do most social networking type stuff on my Droid, and TweetDeck is probably the app I use more than even the web browser. It allows me to post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, no retyping or reposting necessary. (It also wins over Seesmic and Hootsuite because it lets me see FB and Twitter updates in the same stream.) TweetDeck also supports Foursquare (which I use occasionally) and Google Buzz, but there is no support yet for Google+. And this is because there’s no public API, thus no way for third party apps (like TweetDeck, Seesmic, etc.) to allow you to post to Google+. You have to use the official app or the website, and that’s it.
Personally, it’s a bit of a hassle for me to post something in one app, and then open up an entirely different app to post the same thing. Enough of a hassle to not even bother, which is what happens. So I end up forgetting about the Google+ app altogether. It’s really only at night, when I’m on the computer and I can switch browser tabs easily, when I remember to post to Google+ as well. (And even then, I wonder at how fruitless this might be, as I don’t have very many friends on Google+ as I do on FB or Twitter.)
But I still use it… sort of
Since I really don’t ever post anything to Google+ on my phone, it may come as a surprise, then, that I keep the app installed. Why? Two words: Instant Upload.
First, a little background. This website is mostly about my daughter Namine. (If you’re a frequent reader, you can skip this part. But if you’re not, this is more for you.) Namine was born with several birth defects, and this website (which started life as a Blogger blog) serves to let family and friends know how she’s doing, what she’s learning and accomplishing, and what surgeries she needs (or doesn’t need quite so soon, as her recent heart echo has demonstrated).
Until recently, all Namine’s pictures (of which there are a plethora) were hosted here, on this same server. That is, until the volume of pictures overtook the amount of disk space I’m alotted, and I moved them off. After some deliberation, I decided to host the pictures on Google’s Picasa, which also happens to be the image hosting for Google+.
The Google+ app for Android has a great little feature called Instant Upload. With this enabled, any picture I take with my phone is automatically uploaded to my Google+ (and thus my Picasa) account. From there, I’m free to organize them as I like – but the uploading is all done for me. It’s a great convenience, and it has proven to be extremely useful. And yes, this is really the only reason I keep the Google+ app on my phone.