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Why do you guys think follower counts on Google+ are (in some cases) so high relative to Twitter? Personally, 10k people have added me to a G+ circle, while 12k have followed me on Twitter. I've been on G+ a month and Twitter four years.

Is it that it's easier to find people on G+, or are people more motivated to make circles when they sign up? Am I being unduly rewarded for being an early user among other early adopters who are interested in the social networking topics I write about? Maybe I'm better at expressing myself with more than 140 characters?

Not a scientific poll, but I'd be interested in your thoughts.
Johnathan “jp” Predaina's profile photoWilliam Nathania's profile photoJoshua Smith's profile photoDave Beckerman's profile photo
It's not the same metric. People sharing with you does not equal people reading you.
I think people's personalities show more here than in Twitter. That helps some and harms others.
I think it's easier to find "interesting" people, see what they are about and not being tied down to 140 characters is a definite plus.
Dynamics are very different. G+ started heavily techno-centric, so the density of people who knew you/wanted to follow you was very high. twitter started as a very amorphous place.
It's possible to add 500 people in a few clicks in Google+ - go to Circles, select the suggestions, select all, drag to a new circle. I don't know of any other system where it's anywhere near as easy to do that.
Same thing happened to me when I joined Twitter. There were 700k people in there then, and we were all starving for people to follow. Not saying you're not interesting (!!) but I think it's a land-grab at this point.

Holy cow. Just realized after 4+ years on Twitter I almost just a little more 'followers' than I have after 3 weeks in G+. Hua.
+Liz Gannes I believe it's easier to follow based on circles and topics and sharing. I find it easier to click through to get better info.
teach me your ways! :) haha
Being able to follow comments definitely helps on g+. A lot easier than following comments on Twitter unless hash tags are used.
I think people have looked at social media as a numbers game now. And they see G+ as a way to catch up from falling behind in the social media wave (Twitter and FB) So they feel they must have larger circles to get their word out. Even though the mass numbers is not what counts it is the realationships you build within!
I've been thinking almost the same. It's an almost easy get here on G+. Little less personalized than Twitter, I reckon.
I'm trying to figure out who all these people following me on G+ are. I don't know most of the people following me on Twitter, but I think most of them made a conscious and rational decision to follow me. On G+, I'm not so sure.
One reason, in addition to all the others above (which I agree with) is that Google gives you a VERY good prioritized suggestion list, and makes it so eash to add people in bulk - I think that is a contributor.
When I signed up for Twitter, I did not know what it was all about, and I only knew a handful of people there at first. When I signed up at FB, I was so lost and it took me awhile to learn my way around. Years later I sign up here on G+ much more well seasoned, in terms of social networking. I want to dive in, and I already have a much better working knowledge of what it's all about. Consequently I am much more inclined to add people quickly.

A) It's a fresh new start. It's easy and fun to get ahead with some useful housekeeping.
B) There is a genuine "feel good" sprit in the air. So adding great new acquaintances feels exciting. (See also my post on the New Renaissance - Is this Woodstock over again?")
C) The folks on board so far seem pretty decent and genuine. When someone adds you here, there is a sense of true comradeship and interest. Not like say on Twitter where a new follower is just as likely to be wanting to sell you something.
D) This is everyone's chance (not just Google) to get the social thing right.
Think it's pretty safe to say people are batch copying people that others follow ... and, of course, a lot of people follow you Liz
It's funny you should say that. I'm actually having a tough time finding everyone on follow on twitter. I have to manually search for them and/or seek them out through shared circles.

As for the increased numbers. I personally have less people adding me here than I have followers on twitter, and the majority of those seem to be people who weren't following me on twitter. But, I am not a journalist or high profile individual.

For those you have a large number following them, I think it's become standard now. When twitter launched, people weren't used to following people they didn't know, and it took a while to catch on. I think now, people are accustomed to following people and it's more common, thus thus the increased numbers and shorter time reaching them. Just my opinion.
+Harry McCracken I follow you on Twitter Harry and have in a List called Tech. You are a "Friend" on Facebook and logically I followed you here too. I personally follow those who are in the tech field and who I know have good information that can help me. Plus I like all the other tidbits, like the Comic Con info you have been tweeting.
I've noticed the same thing, at a slightly smaller scale: I have about 4600 followers on Twitter and about 4000 followers/people who've circled me here.

1) I think some of it is the advantages of being a first-mover: people who got into G+ and got a number of followers early (especially by other influential people) had and have an advantage getting more.

2) That in turn translates into the recommendation algorithm, which is both more robust and seems to be being used more often with Google+ than on Twitter.

3) User's names and the things they write are stickier here than on Twitter, and their profiles are richer. So people who can write well about topics that people are interested in (like G+) end up on a lot of threads that lots of people see.

4) A premium on real names and affiliations help people who write or work for recognized outlets. There's a lot less "you've got to follow @ShitMyDadSays, it's hilarious!" and a lot more "oh, they work for the New York Times."

5) What Scoble said: it's easy to add people, and new people especially are hungry for content when they first get here. This is why the recommendation engine and the ability to quickly recognize who someone is and what they cover become so powerful.
Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing!

I've been on Twitter for several years and I have 1500+ followers. I've been on G+ for a few weeks and I already have 1300+ people who have added me to a circle and I've only added ~350 people to my own circles. Finally, I'm seeing such great engagement on G+. Just in the time that this post has gone up, I've seen several really smart responses.

I think the simple reason is the elegant interface to add friends/people to circles. The system helps me find the right people and makes it so easy to add them to a group. As with all social networks, the currency is in the connections. G+ has really figured out how to connect people with people they care about.

On the other hand, Facebook really has more meaningful connections for me. G+ lacks my friends from high school, college and co-workers. I'm hoping that one of two things happens: G+ encourages all these people to join OR Facebook adopts the same friend finding / circle building features.
May be because it is easier to capture conversations hear and see who provide value. May be because it is very easy to hover on a name and quickly add someone to a circle.
My thought is one started 7 years ago, the other 5 years ago. Google has an advantage that we now have so many people using social networks, creating false statistics. It's easy to say G+ gained 10M in a short time, there are more of us out there now.
Plus you can find people like Edwin in these threads and add them in a heartbeat if you haven't already ... (Just did :)
Thanks +Liz Gannes Thanks for this unscientific question/poll. Great point from @Edward Vielmetti It is actually very easy to add lots of people. It actually took me more time to add less (much less) than what Google had suggested. And even for people I know, if they are not active on G+, I don't add them.

Advantage Liz: You work at All Things D, your interesting posts, you worry about "unduly rewarded" ... :) People who are "unduly rewarded", they don't ask this question.
I suspect that your kind of follower (tech enthusiast) were the first people to arrive on G+. As soon as I joined G+, I immediately looked to fill my circles and I found popular tech writers pretty easily. I have a Twitter account, but I never use it,
Here is what I think - Facebook and then Twitter "softened" the ground for something like Google+ prepared the way so to speak which, I believe in some part has driven the experience many are having here with connections
Awesome question +Liz Gannes ! Finding interesting people to follow is a lot easier with Circles no doubt. It only takes a few minutes to go on a Circlespree and add a couple hundred people, not so with Twitter. Most posts and comments I find are both insightful & relevant, and once they add threaded comments I believe the conversations will only get more deeper. Also, 140 characters really limits a users ability to expose their true personalities, so everyone benefits from the loss of that restriction. Booyah!
+Tim Carmody
Good points Tim. Apart fromt the quality of people and conversations that so far prevails here on G+, the other factors you allude to are the 'land grab' that's going on, and the credibility factor that goes with using real names. The latter is truly refreshing.
I just know that whenever I see a new notification that someone's added me I just want to scream WHO ARRRRRRRRRRE YOU PEOPLE?!?
+Robert Scoble And how exactly do you go about finding people on here? Do you search them via Google Profiles? Just curious.
There are no profiles on Twitter. You can't decide who someone is from a little blurb. You'd have to follow a pot luck link to a site that may or may not indicate who they are and what they're about.
+Bill Cammack
Very true Bill. There's just not enough there to understand someone better. Which is pretty odd really. It would be so simple for Twitter to provide a decent Profile page. These things have been around since the dawn of SM.
+Liz Gannes personally, i found you on here through the suggestions thing - which seems to be alot better than twitter's (twitter shows people THEY think are cool, while google shows people who my friends think are cool - based on people in common... or atleast seems to)
+Harry McCracken
Harry, I find a good percentage of people on Twitter follow me because they want to sell me something. I can understand their rationale, but it doesn't make good conversation for me.

Whereas on G+, I followed you and others because there's a chance of having a rich and interesting conversation. That is the primary rationale here, and from I read most people here share the same motivation.

It keeps getting better :)
Agreed, +Pete Meehan. You don't go from "That was an interesting remark" to "That's an interesting person".

This is especially true when people use their Twitter accounts specifically to shill for companies. Even if you say something interesting, the "personality" behind the link (should someone bother to click it, and should the site they're clicking to be optimized for mobile and have a clear direction to an ABOUT page, including people's pictures and assuming that there aren't several people on that page, so you don't know which one of them wrote the interesting remark) isn't obvious, and there's no reason to follow A PERSON because of one luck-shot remark they made that you happened to read one time.

Those cutesy background pictures down the sidebar with non-clickable URLs doesn't help Twitter either.
Real value and engagement. Circles enables you to follow people more casually, rather than every update being equal, as on Twitter, you are forced to see everything. I am at 21k/19k myself.
I added you here, and not on twitter, because I can control my consumption of your posts and those like you. I thought I'd be interested in what you have to say (and am). Twitter however, is more like a fire hose. You are either part of the stream or you aren't and there are others whose tweets are more important to me than yours, probably because of our relationship, or the lack thereof in your case. Of course, since I enjoy what you have to say, hopefully through G+, the nature of the relationship will change as well.
I'm following you simply because I am interested in the latest google+ information, and you seem to have it.
You definitely express yourself better with more than 140 characters, Liz.

The Google+ population still only has a few dozen public people with something interesting to say.

On Twitter we all get distracted by Bieber, Shaq, Gaga, and Kutcher instead of following people of substance like you.

The longer form favors good writers like you and interesting personalities like +Marissa Mayer, +Kevin Rose, +Tom Anderson, +Trent Reznor, +Johnny Depp, and +Vic Gundotra.

And I cannot for the life of me figure out plus addressing. :)

+Liz Gannes
I have noticed an increased growth on Google+ as well, and I'm not a "Tech" crazy person like +Leo Laporte or +Robert Scoble . I'm still working with Google+ and trying to place it into my life and how I can use it to help my art career. It's all about Networking for me right now ;)
Finding people using Google period is easier! I added you to my Tech Circle because I've read many of your articles. I'm a info Geek, I read tons of articles on various portions of the Tech Industry. I don't post alot in G+ but my friend consider me a very good commenter on the topics they post.
I agree with you that its much easier to find people on G+ and its serving itself more as a blog to people who don't normally blog which is where the character count comes in.It will be interesting to see if you will be able to integrate various feeds/apps after the buzz tab like " instagram" etc then you wont have to leave and have one centralised hub for everything. - my two cents :o)
Finding you on G+ is as easy as typing in "Liz Gannes". Finding you on Twitter is not.
I think it is much easier to find people you want to follow on G+ then anywhere else.
mor tha 140 char an lez bad speach in das google machien? #ff #iliketotypereallyreallylonghashtags #winning (thanks +Charlie Sheen, not)
Translation: Plus is a community where you can communicate, Twitter is like 5million radio DJ's talking to themself and the occasional spambot

obviously the real reason is: Google > Twitter
I can find more great posts on G+ compared with twitter or FB
Send some of that magic my way. With 5,600 followers on Twitter, I'm in a paltry 40 G+ circles. Maybe jumping in at Week 3 makes me a late adopter these days.
I had a similar experience. Took a long time to build up "friends" or "followers" at Twitter and Facebook and within a few weeks I have a few thousand at G+. I'm a photographer - and I can only say that first off the photographers on G+ are better than anywhere else.

Twitter sucked for photographers. Facebook had some very stupid user interface stuff - such as being unable to edit your post, or posting a comment when you hit the enter key.

You don't need to ask someone to be your "friend" here -- you just put them in a circle. They can do the same for you if they want to or not. It's a much more natural way to build relationships than FB or Twitter.

I can only say that FB has an authoritarian and phony feel to it. Even the terminology of "friends" and "fans" is wrong. G+ allows you to name your circles as you see fit.

I could go on - but I won't. The major difference is simply that G+ gives you more control and is a more open framework than either Twitter or Facebook. And for photographers, you can't compare it to FB or Twitter.

Now, on top of all that - it can easily be integrated with your Chrome browser and your Gmail account and all your other G stuff. With a few changes, they can make this into a replacement for blogs. It's already become that for many bloggers. Big stuff in my opinion.
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