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Digging into Facebook hate

I just saw this post on +Vic Gundotra's account about +Tim O'Reilly and his fascination with Google+.

Glad to see other smart people joining Google+. I was getting tired of people on Twitter assuming that it was only me excited about Google+.

But for the past month I've really been ignoring Google+ and Twitter and spending a lot of time on Facebook. What did I do there? I rebuilt my social graph. I added more than 3,000 likes. I built new interest lists. And I spent every possible minute there.

Why? Because on Google+ there was so much Facebook hate that I thought it would be interesting to really dig in and see if the hate had any basis and also see what would happen if I really did put a lot more data about myself into Facebook.

Yesterday I was talking with Rackspace exec +Lew Moorman about Facebook. He is one of those who just doesn't see the value in Facebook. Even Tim O'Reilly and I have had a little debate about Facebook, too. He wants to keep Facebook to just close friends and family so he can see their pictures and not miss anything and also he doesn't want to overwhelm his friends and family with tech industry posts. That's what Google+ and Twitter are for, he told me.

I can't disagree. But I'll be honest, I'm getting a lot more engagement over on Facebook simply because I am using it for stuff that most people aren't.

Here's some things I've learned about Facebook and Google+ in this process:

1. The more you give Facebook about yourself the better the content (and ads) get.

2. The more you build lists the more you'll see that Facebook has a real shot at taking away Twitter's air supply.

3. Facebook's machine learning is years ahead of that on Twitter and Google+. Start a new list, for instance, of, say, venture capitalists. Put three or four on that list. Then watch as it recommends other venture capitalists to add to the list. This is way ahead of anything on Twitter or Google+. Google+, for instance, still suggests people to me who never have posted here.

4. Facebook's usage model is confusing and its UI is overly complex. This is where Twitter and Google+ (Google+ especially) is way ahead. As Zuckerberg tries to push Facebook into new places its UI and usage model has gotten weak. If I hate something about Facebook it is here.

5. Privacy is not the problem. Addiction is. I have been dealing with some issues in my marriage lately and talking to lots of other couples. You would be shocked how many marriages are stressed out because one or both partners are staring at their screens all night. Another example of addiction? Texting while driving. I even feel this pull while driving and I am constantly fighting it. I think the privacy debate in this country has taken the media oxygen away from this far more dangerous problem. Let's be honest, you aren't going to write anything really criminal on Facebook anyway. Is the government going to get you because of what you put on social media? Probably not. Yeah, there are examples where this happens, but, seriously, far less often than you'll see stuff like this crash, due to texting and driving:

6. I like the "flow" on Google+ and Twitter (if you use the Mac app) a lot better than the "need to refresh the page to see new stuff" way that Facebook works. Moving items show me something new has arrived.

7. Facebook's noise controls are getting dramatically better and are way ahead of anything on Google+ and Twitter. That said, they are imperfect. For instance, on my family list I don't want to see items about my brother's bar (the Tim O'Reilly problem we talked about). I have no control of that. I also can't block some lame things, like all the birthday messages going around. Really, if I cared about your birthday I'd send you a private note, or, even better, a gift from Karma.

8. Facebook's API is years ahead of Twitter or Google+. Cool apps come out every day, like Karma, for gift reminders, or Highlight, for seeing people near you, that use Facebook. These apps are simply impossible to build on any other system and the problem will get worse over time. Pinterest could not have started on Google+ or Twitter, but it did on Facebook. Social Cam and Viddy are getting white hot right now because of how they integrate with Facebook (while they are overly aggressive I've noticed that Facebook has tweaked the noise protections to quiet these things down a lot).

9. Facebook's ads are starting to make sense to me. Including friends' names who have liked a brand makes ads much more interesting. Plus, I can see that the ads are better targeted at specific demographics than anything I've seen on Google or Twitter. There's a reason why Facebook's IPO is largely expected to be near $100 billion valuation and this is it. Google should really be freaked out by just how good the demographic data is over on Facebook and how narrowly ads can be targetted.

10. Facebook's mobile apps still suck, but, then, so do those from Twitter and Google+. So, the industry has opportunity ahead of it here. I wouldn't be shocked if a totally mobile social network sprung up. Oh, wait, one already did: Instagram. Social Cam is another example that I'm really enjoying, too. But Facebook's web page is actually pretty nice for iPhone and iPad users (so is Google+). I find I am using the web browser 95% of the time on all of these. Twitter is one exception. The third-party apps for that really rock. That puts Twitter ahead of the pack, and is one reason why Twitter is seeing content flows that the other social networks can't touch (one billion tweets every two or three days).

11. Facebook users are more addicted than Google+. I see this in my engagement numbers, but others see it in traffic numbers. Facebook users are spending more time on site and are more likely to respond and push things along.

12. Most people have turned on too much privacy on Facebook. Lots of people want to friend me, but when I look at their profile I can't even see who they are or why I might want to friend them. This is a real problem because Facebook has freaked out much of its user base. Google and Twitter, on the other hand, don't have that problem so it's easier to find people on those two services. Not to mention that Google+ and Twitter have a more defacto public stance or affordance. Facebook, since you probably got on it just to share photos with your close friends, is far more closed feeling even though you can be totally public on Facebook too.

12b. Facebook hasn't earned the trust of many of its users. I think this really is where the core of the Google+ hate of Facebook comes from. People are freaked out by Facebook's mission, which is to know everything about you so it can serve you better media. Google+ has the same mission, actually, but is coming in later after everyone's freaky line has been shoved by Zuckerberg, and also is way behind on machine learning and app integration, so doesn't look so freaky to most people. I guarantee you that Google will be just as freaky in five years. Why? It will have to be or else Facebook will just run off with advertisers in huge droves.

13. There are lots of little things I like better over on Facebook. For instance, I can post a YouTube video to a comment. That is so cool.

14. Facebook messaging is way ahead of Google+. I miss messages all the time that people leave for me here. Why? Because messages aren't separate from all the other notifications. So, I can't see them if it's an active day here. I've really started hating how Google Circles and messages work here and how badly designed the notifications are. That said, Facebook messages aren't perfect. Email is still better for 65% of what I get sent on Facebook. If Google integrates Gmail in a elegant way then Google+ could really fly by Facebook in this respect.

15. Facebook's search sucks. Er, is almost non-existent. I so miss Google+ when I want to find other articles over on Facebook on a specific topic. Even Twitter search is 100x better than Facebook and that's saying something because Twitter search has huge holes in it.

16. Facebook brings far less noise into my view than Google+ and especially Twitter. People who hate Facebook's filters simply haven't taken the time to play around with them. They are very well thought out and I hope Google+ really brings us much better noise control soon. Funny enough Google is a great search engine for Facebook's public items. That's how I found these tips I wrote up for you

17. Photos still look better on Google+ in the feed but once you click on them the full-screen views on Facebook are slightly sharper, at least in tests with my Canon 5D MKIII. That said, overall I like how photos are treated here better, although only by a slight amount (used to be much better, but Facebook dramatically improved its photos since Google+ came on the scene).

18. Flipboard remains my favorite way to read the news. Facebook and Twitter are stunningly displayed in that tool. Google+ is non-existent. That really bums me out. Hey, Vic, can you fix that by getting them an API and working with them to get Google+ in there?

So, to wrap this up. Is Facebook hatred that I've seen on Google+ justified? Yes, some of it. The company mistreated its users many times over the past few years and earned some of the angst it's now seeing. But, on the other hand, I think much of it is misplaced and demonstrates that people just aren't willing to put the time into making these things work well and aren't going to reevaluate their positions even after new features come out. This is working against Google+ too as many people think it's a ghost town or that there's no reason to use it instead of Facebook or Twitter.

How about you? Do you hate Facebook? Why? Has your usage of it changed a lot since the new features like Timeline, Ticker, Interest Lists, and Subscriptions have come out?

Do you agree with or disagree with my findings?

That said, I'm now going to redistribute my social media time back to Google+ and blogging a bit.
Robert Scoble wrote: Addiction is going to be the biggest... Join Facebook to connect with Robert Scoble and others you may know.
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I have to agree with Tim O'Reilly, I much prefer to keep people whom I interact with physically on Facebook, whereas Google+ and Twitter is a chance to interact with professionals in my field. That being said, I can appreciate the specifically targeted nature of Facebook's advertising platform, its pretty damn effective.
A lot of the hatred you probably see is from users that have switched from Facebook justifying the move, or others that have never used Facebook.

I agree with +Tim O'Reilly that they do serve two different purposes, which is why I've never used Facebook. I want social networks that cater to interests [Twitter, G+], not friends; if they happen to intersect, all the better.
I both like and don't like the idea of separate social media for separate parts of my life. On facebook I can interact with real physical friends and share parts of my life I may not share on Twitter / G+. At the same time, I don't like this as it slices my life up into parts. Oh well...

Very good thoughts - thanks.
That's very interesting, but I really see it as each platform having different strengths. As +Guy Kawasaki said, Facebook is for friends and G+ is for finding people who share your passions.

Interested that you didn't mention one of G+'s killer features, Hangouts, at all. Is that because there is no equivalent on Facebook at all?
+Colin Walker I think a lot of it comes from the users dissatisfied with constant UI changes, and as you said concern towards privacy. With the IPO though, I think were going to see a Facebook that's going to be much hungrier for user data, due to an increased need to push revenue from advertising.
The way I split my social networks at the moment is Facebook for family and friends (and also for community pages for my websites). I hit Twitter if I want to be entertained (I can't imagine watching TV without my Twitter pals commenting and snarking in the background), and Google+ for tech discussions and lately sport posts.

Good post, Scoble.
I still use FB for friends and family, but don't use it as much as Google+ personally. I rather share photos of family on Google+, but do put some stuff on Facebook. Going to be honest with you +Robert Scoble. I tried subscribing to your posts on Facebook, but every like you had flooded my stream so I had to unsubscribe. At least I still follow you here. Thanks for sharing your findings.
I don't hate Facebook - I can't really see why that would help me or the world in any way.

My own Facebook usage just sort of drifted away in a "Farmville/Getting friend requests from my friends' children"-frenzy a few years ago.Granted that was before all the neat new features came.
12b. Facebook hasn't earned the trust of many of its users. I think this really is where the core of the Google+ hate of Facebook comes from

It has also repeatedly betrayed the trust of it's users, for example by changing the privacy options and then defaulting the settings without warning. Those "Social Reader" apps are similarly trying to sneak in under the radar, causing users to share stuff without their own knowledge. This promotes the feeling that Facebook is always trying to get one over on you.
And all your well written post is only on differences in profiles management from what i've understood, right +Robert Scoble ? No mentions to pages management which are, as of today, totally unuseful here on G+.
+Colin Walker Quite true, though I'm sure there's no shortage of people wanting a part of the Facebook cake
Great findings and insight. I have a love/hate relationship with FB. G+ has a lot of catch up to do, to get the engagement. Totally agree that they both need better mobile apps. I find them frustrating to say the least. 
"People who hate Facebook's filters simply haven't taken the time to play around with them."

Facebook doesn't make this kind of customization easy. Only someone who is really looking to find these settings will find them. I recently tried to change my email notification settings so that I don't receive any emails from Facebook. I was surprised to find how difficult Facebook made it for me.
+Robert Scoble Excellent info! Thanks for that thorough run-down...

Re Facebook hate, I think that's a lot to do with being a self-righeous member of a beleaguered minority (ie people think they are on the losing side). Same thing happened to some Mac users. And some creationists.

These people obviously aren't going to re-evaluate their positions because that would be a risk: they might have to face the truth.
Im more interested in why everyone wants to keep comparing all the social networks. To me, i use Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and i use them all in very different ways.
Twitter is no good for a convo, but great for witty one liners, keeping up with friends, and other things
Google+ is better for images being seen in posts (vs twitter you need to click on them), better for longer blog style posts (such as this), and great conversation. I find more 'smart' people here , though this could be just my followers in general being more tech.
Facebook i find better for posting silly pictures, baby photos and more personal stuff, as you said. Its kind of like Google+ but not really as easy to do longer posts like this one. Less larger interaction (comments are usually one line).

To summarize, to me, there is no comparison, they are used differently for me.
One other point...opening up the API will start to make profile and other information available to 3rd parties, which is where I think a lot of the privacy concerns with Facebook have their root.

I might let Facebook know about my marriage status, for instance, but do I really want Zynga to have that information too?
Here's a story for you +Robert Scoble.

Last week, on Israeli independence day, I went out with friends and we partied hard. My digital devices were mostly put away, and I didn't send out any posts or pictures the whole day. Also I haven't posted to my Facebook account in many months.

One of my friends, Avi, uploaded a few pictures of us drinking in the Jacuzzi to his Facebook account.

Avi is a friend on Facebook with Dan's mother (Dan is another friend), and Dan's mother is a Facebook friend with my mother.

When Dan's mother commented on Avi's pictures, my mother saw them in her stream, and later that day when I called my mother, she told me "Ha! I saw you drinking in the Jacuzzi!".

So my problem with Facebook is that its privacy design is so flawed, that even when I'm not using it, my privacy is violated.
+Robert Scoble Just noticed the activity on this post compared to that on Facebook, Google+ has quickly overtaken, that's exactly what I love about this platform, everybody is so eager to engage.
I don't hate fb, but i hate the ticker, and i hate that i get post in my stream that says "XX has comment in YYs thred" when i not know or are a friend with YY. Don't like timeline eaither. Just becourse of that my security settings are hard.

Im not follow many companies and use adblock against commercial. I follow lots of rockbands thats enough for me.

I spend lot more time o G+ than facebook becourse the respond on g+ are lot higher. Most activity on fb is with my G+ contacts.
I have no doubt Google are working on innovative noise controls because that's the only thing holding up the API. I also think point 12 raises an important issue in that Facebook users don't want to post publicly the way they do on G+ and Twitter because it isn't the established norm and never will be.
jesse s
i dont use fb so cant comment, other than to say one social media thingy is enough in my life. G+ is perfectly adequate, and i predict it will integrate really with my other Google stuff soon (Gmail, youtube etc). Im just lazy and i like the google style. - oh and i dont like the fb ethos of building a walled off mini-internet for their users, make it properly searchable!
+Ash Davies I understand your point but I'd be amazed if G+ was the best place for any group to interract, except possibly technology journalists. There are already lots of well established forums for that sort of thing. In fact, G+ is significantly worse because there's no way of shutting random idiots out of professional conversations.
I can never understand why someone would want to see ads in anywhere except where you are explicitly searching for information. My wife is a facebook addict. Between the computer and her iPhone, she is on it constantly. I have asked if she has ever clicked thru any ads on FB, and she tells me she doesn't even notice the ads. I have offered to use adblock and she tells me it's a waste of time since she never looks at them. Same with my kids. On the other hand, searching for services on google, they click on ads all the time.
I have heard you mention many times how much you enjoy the better personalization of ads on facebook, I just don't think the average user cares.
I have pretty much abandoned facebook. I used it to reconnect with old friends. Ok, some I still stay in touch with. But the engagement is gone, how many times can I tell them I "liked" what they said or did? Boring!
Google+ is a wait and see. I am in tech and more specifically InfoSec, so I follow twitter, because that's where ideas are exchanged.
I believe much like John Borthwick that facebook will be a dominant force for a much shorter time then say google or apple. Their pinnacle will be their IPO.
FB is too difficult to manage privacy and manage noise controls.Every time a app comes and some of my friends post their status message on my wall, then i need to mute it.I have do it every time.Annoying.I do not have to work on social products, but the social products should be well designed to deal with these things.
Nice job, Robert. My move to Google+ had more to do with the Google environment I was working in (GMail, YouTube, Google Docs) than anything else. It ties together nicely. I also agree with +Tim O'Reilly comments. I don't think I will get my mother and family to change from Facebook to Google+.
+Robert Scoble #12: "Most people have turned on too much privacy on Facebook." Yeah, me too. My profile is totally locked down. I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts about unlocking it in ways that are just enough.
+Robert Scoble : As someone having large followers, do you find the trend that I do over lengths of posts and comments. I feel comments and posts on facebook are usually one sentence or sentence fragments. Here they can get quite lengthy.

Then again on facebook most of my friends are young adults with more of a casual use.
+Liz ℚuilty I agree with your comment it seems as most people seem to compare them all ... but you can not compare a hammer to saw. I use them all just use some more than other actually my biggest base is on Facebook just because I started with Facebook before Google+.
Nice article. I do use Facebook occasionally and I certainly do not hate it. But I have just grown bored of it, may be it just the friends I have on the site or the way I interact with it. The most annoying thing is how lock down all the profiles are. The UI annoys me as well.

"Is the government going to get you because of what you put on social media?"

Depends what you put on social media site. In the UK a name of a rape victim in a high profile case was disclose on twitter, 12 people have been arrested so far and more will probably follow. Numerous other case have be prop up this year with UK police enforcing UK laws on Twitter. It getting more common.
+Jack Schofield Your always going to get unpleasant people in around, its one of the downsides to the internet I believe. G+ may not be the best place, but its the best I've experienced, I wouldn't go as far to say its significantly worse.
Very good write up +Robert Scoble ! I have to say I used to like Facebook for quite a while simple because I used it for finding information, work in social media and to connect with friends (apart from Twitter most of them were on Facebook or increasingly joined the service). I have always had privacy concerns and issues with GUI but managed to convince myself to ignore those under the rule of "don't drink and post" anyway. However when G+ stepped in I started really hating Facebook: 1. for fixing few privacy and data ownership issues users were flagging up for years JUST because a rival strong enough has suddenly appeared on the market, 2. for new algorithm which if you happen to have already really well segmented lists and networks results in the same stuff popping up in my streams! Since the last Facebook conference their network feels like an aquarium to me, information wise I am drowning in the same stuff and lack fresh air. I could count hrs for a social media viral or a silly visual to pop up in one friend's stream and be shared all across my networks. I like to use the web to open up and learn more of the new stuff and I think the tools should help us with it. I like the noise! I can always find something new and inspiring in it. Google Search is similar but sophisticated enough to manage it. There, this is my take.
On locking down on facebook. If you can remember there was almost a viral movement when the privacy settings were launched to click off whatever check box. There were all sorts of images people propagated on the network. Many people posted this, and most people obliged. I left it all on.
Personally, I read far more posts on G+; mostly tech and business related... but continue to post on Facebook over G+. I do plan on posting frequently here soon.
At this point in time Facebook feels more personal and for the most part - a closer group of 'friends'.
I find the overall design of G+ is far far better.
I've always used Shift-enter, it is a common thing for text input boxes for quite some time. I guess it isn't commonly known.
i like the way the social network war is improving both G+ and FB (and Twitter too), but FB has added too many layers of complexity without a real direction, and the result is too complex imho, let's see their next move..
As for me, i learned to use g+ as a way to discover new intresting things, thats very different from what i used to do with facebook, as of now, i think that FB could be used that way too ( albeit the complexity is greater ), but my FB account is full of jerk people i know irl and i'm fine with that, for that FB became a sort of address book, while g+ is a place for keep in touch with what i like..
are you sure it's machine learning? or it's simply because they collect more personal data and have a much larger pool of VC and those VC are more connected with each other than on G+?
I agree, +Robert Scoble, social changes us.

Thanks for the link, interesting read, I wonder what the real numbers are ... an 800% increase doesn't really give any information.

By the way, I think the most important issue you raised in your analysis is about addiction.
+Robert Scoble Facebook actively put content of a 2nd-level connection in my mother's stream. That's setting my friends up for fail, as they expect their friends to see it, not considering friends of friends.

On Google+ you always know in whose stream your content will be displayed in.

On top of that, if I post about technology, Facebook's PostRank doesn't even push it to my own friends' streams, as it doesn't fit into their likes. So for someone like me it's impossible to build myself on top of my Facebook network.

It's these things that grow into the hate you're seeing from people on here.
I concur with the comments about Google+ (via <>, e.g. "I find incredibly compelling content from the people I've circled."). This has to be why so many moved to Google+.
Most important thing: public in facebook is not really public.
1. Public posts cannot be seen by search engines.
2. People without facebook accounts cannot see them as well.
Facebook should be a platform for the users and not the other way around.
As far as I understand the tools & settings in both G+ & FB, both services can be used for both personal & business networking. Its just a matter of understanding the features.

Such as Circles over here and Subscribe over on FB. As it is most FB users seem to prefer to Friend rather than Subscribe, or they can't seem to understand the diference… The same can be said for Circles I guess though, more or less, since everyone seems to dump everyone in their Following circle and don't bother to make any fine distinction whatsoever…

Getting friends from FB & Twitter to try G+ is hard too; and not many seem to stick around for long. And it seems its hard to get anyone to switch away from any of the big three once they're used to the way things are… or something like that…
I agree 100% with the part about video within the post. I really like how in facebook you can get that snippet information within the comments. I do wish it functioned just like the post box with pulling up the data before posting.

Google+ should aim for this, as well as refining their snippet system since not everyone is willing to adopt their exact standard (if that is the problem). Facebook will pull all the images from the page and you can select which image you want for your post. In rare cases Google+'s end up better, but so many times it picks a poor image, meanwhile on facebook I have 21 choices.
I don't hate Facebook, but I don't like the way they are building their internet within the internet. Google does it differently and more open.
I have to agree about the Google+ Messaging mess. Google should integrate G+ Messenger, Google Talk, mobile SMS (and maybe Gmail too?) in order to improve the experience.
+Robert Scoble I knew of Facebook's method before, it's just the first time I got hit without even using the service.
I use facebook 99% percent for friends and family
I do keep my facebook all public, but don't think it is any different from being private (for me at least)

On google+ I mostly just read what other people are writing.
+Oscar RdG, they definitely need to do something with G+ Messenger. I NEVER use it at all. It not like I don't want to, it is really cool. Nobody I know uses it.
Google + as part of the Google apps are not available elsewhere. Furthermore, I thought Google + works well when I use picasa, docs etc.
Glad you're back on the G + and hope you will continue your interesting thoughts and ideas about new technology etc.
Great post! So much good advice!(API, message notification, comment...) Wish Google developer could take them. Actually, I'm not that into Facebook.I like to live in Google+. Here, I can see so many interesting essays and interact with people who is also interested in, not just gossiping.
+Robert Scoble I do not see your public posts!!!
Did you see my public posts? You can't on FB!!!

This is the most important thing.
+Chris McIntosh, but G+ Messenger is not integrated at all with the web app. And it is duplicating the functionality of Google Talk. They should really merge into a single app (with mobile and web versions, of course).
+Robert Scoble I tried using FB for years but the UI never made sense to me. When G+ came along it was so much easier to learn and (still is) a joy to use. Then FB started to update and become more like G+ (to me) and I guess that will continue until the two start to become difficult to tell apart. Surely FB will integrate Skype to offer hangouts etc. I will continue to use G+ because it integrates with all the other Google services I use. It is like a personal network for me. The ability to direct content naturally to specific circles or people is still paramount to me. But I expect that soon some form of cross posting will ensure that whichever "network" you live on, you can still interact with people on the other.
+Oscar RdG : Where messenger mainly differs is multi-person chat. Other then that I believe they have the same functionality. The GTalk uses XMPP, I'm not sure if Messenger does.
Your comments are fair. Two main reasons I am not a fan of Facebook, as you said, are the security settings and the UI. I feel both of these will contribute to the complexity as they add more features. The moment you say good-bye to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) then it's very difficult to deal with complexity, that is built over a period of time. And that's where I like Google+, for it is clean and simple service.

I feel, Facebook need to make their foundations clean soon...and thus new services will not add to the complexity.
+Robert Scoble, I feel that Facebook is trying to make every visit onlne for you via So the only thing you need would be this. Forget about the free www. Google is different. It seems they still rely a lot on content from the outside, witch is naturally because they are a fantastic search engine. I believe Google is not trying to capture us in the same bubble way as Facebook is.
This is a well constructed article. I really enjoy the impartial judgements as well. I have certainly learned bit more about how to manage my facebook account.
+Lasse Sørnes I think of Google as a mist. And they want you to walk through the mist to get around the internet.
+Chris McIntosh, yes, Google Talk should have the multi-person (and group) options, as well as the sending files ability, and Hangouts, etc. And an easy UI. I really think Google will merge these apps (Gtalk and G+Messenger); I am just waiting for it to be sooner better than later.
+Robert Scoble there are social implications to disallowing someone to take a photo. I got into these arguments in the past, and they totally kill the party.

I'd much much prefer it if my friends just had the tools and the mindset to control the audience of what they post. I was drinking a beer, not snorting coke - I don't mind my friends' friends seeing that.

Facebook users are mostly not mindful about who they broadcast to, and I don't blame them - it's Facebook's social design that doesn't make you mindful about it.
+Robert Scoble That's what I mean. I feel that FB is an internet within our internet, and what whatever is there is not really mine.
Back to facebook. As like what I mentioned before with the viral spreading of the privacy hate. The same worked for timeline. To this day there are people that hate it without even knowing what it is.
Then they update their cover photo and say "Wait a sec, that looks cool."
#1&2 no opinion
#3 might be largely a factor of having a larger pool of people and in particular a larger number of engaged users. Since facebook has been around longer, it's probably easier to flag a user as "inactive" and keep them off of the "suggested" list (because the inactive accounts on facebook have typically been inactive for a longer time)
#4 Agree 100%. This is especially true for defining groups i might want to share with. G+ --- click circles, brings me to a page with all the people I follow and a picture of all my circles. FB --click "more", click "more" again. Since it's not immediately obvious, I've never bothered making lists.
#7 For better or for worse, that's partly cause G+, puts that noise filter in the hands of the sender (e.g. On G+, your brother probably should be posting bar info only to those circle that he feels are relevant, whereas facebook is deciding for you and him that it is not relevant)
#8 hopefully mostly a function of age, and G+ will put out there APIs
#12 It's a lot easier to know which information you are sharing with which people on G+. and the controls are a lot more granular on G+. More control on what you share--> more willingness to share.

#13 it's a tradeoff i guess. You can post paragraphs in comments here, but videos and photos get turned into links.
I distanced myself from Facebook to focus on G+ just over a month ago. I've used Facebook twice in that time to see if I was missing anything (I wasn't - admittedly this is due to the fact that 80% people I have on it are ex-work colleagues I have no interest in whatsoever.)

I'm not usually near a desktop and have mobile / tablet access. As the G+Mobile app is still pretty useless and a complete non-entity for Page management I invested in a Chromebook 2 days ago, which I must say is great for all things social and webbesque and I've found a renewed vigor for G+

I don't hate Facebook I just don't have much use or desire for it, I love Twitter for the 'now factor', I like G+ but it does need more work, that said it continues to grow on me every day.
Summary: The way I see it the 3 can happily co-exist. Guy Kawasaki summed them up well :-

Facebook is for People,
Twitter for Perspectives,
Google+ for Passions.

What sets +Google+ aside? I believe it's the fact that they actively listen and act upon their users needs and requests and long may they continue to do so.
+Robert Scoble Re point #5: Not sure if you've read Alan Lightman's essay, 'The World Is Too Much With Me' from the book "Living with the Genie'. Definitely worthy of 5-10 minutes of your time.
+Robert Scoble What I personally I don`t like are comments from friends on the topics that their friends have posted, who in fact have a closed off account. I can see interesting topics going on, but cannot engage with them. It`s so frustrating when there`s a good conversation going on. Also, why does fb even show me conversations that I cannot engage in?

Another problem is the massive amount of birthday wishes sent to my stream.If my friend list is pretty much the same with the b-day boy/girl then I will get a lot of spam in the feed. What I think we need are better filters. Plus, the ticker is annoying.
+Robert Scoble If Facebook's ad targeting is so fantastic, then why is their revenue declining so rapidly?
+Robert Scoble For #13, do you think it is a possibility that is what this unused white space is all about?

(side note not necessarily directed at Robert: Have you tried +mentioning someone in facebook? It works and removes the plus, but I find it helps the webpage realizing you are trying to reference someone sooner. Was this always the case?)
+Robert Scoble justification is the nature of the human game. People want to be right. And they believe they are right if they are on Google+.

And by telling the world in a projectionist way they feel right. But it's shortsighted.

BTW: I prefer Zite for news.
I have cut back my usage of Facebook. The clutter I was getting with all the notifications was aggravating, though the "Hide All By..." selection has cleaned that up. I now use Facebook as a way to do a quick check on Friends and Family. G+ I use more as a way to follow professionals and interests outside my personal relationships.
+Robert Scoble Thanks. When I read your suggestion I thought I should re-look at it and compare the two. Thanks.

And thanks for a balanced view ;-)
Users don't own their content on any of the major networks today. So they all suck in my book. Security, new features, etc. just don't matter when we don't have a proper amount of control over our virtual lives. That will change soon.
C'mom Scoble , you know that G+ is still a baby on the mother's lap while FB is already a smart boy playing in the backyard. Even so, G+ is compared with FB! I see this like a huge victory to people on Google. Give it time. But I known the growing is acquired with constructive critics, and this is the main purpose of your post. Without it, this G+ thing can not rock decently. G+ will turning off the beta mode next july, and until then, certainly we'll see more improvements here than in FB.
By the way, the amount of likes is due the fact you are spending more time there than here on the last weeks, and after all many people dont like critics, even good ones.
I jump of FB completely and expect to use G+ as my all thing platform.
+Robert Scoble Great post, lots of interesting points. What I find odd about most of Google+'s short falls is that most of them can be remedied using software that Google has already built. The fact that you can't embed YouTube videos into comments is mad.

Google Talk should be fully integrated, not bolted on the side, There should be a separate notification panel, or at the very least a different colour for direct/personal messages. (they already adopted blue when sharing with individual users, why not continue that through for direct messages?). Combine this with the fact that G+ Messenger on the mobile app is completely separate from Google Talk and it gets ridiculous.

I'd love to see some innovative features added to G+, such as crowd sourced spelling/grammar feedback ( ), and the ability to flag posts for reading later, rather than bookmarking URLs in my browser. I want to be able to pick these up on my mobile at a later date, but they are sitting on my desktop and not stored in G+.

Some for of intelligent commenting would be great too, where I can select a comment and have G+ collate together the entire thread without in a nice animated intuitive way, they return to the current list view when I'm done.

Simple features like this will help G+ become a better platform, they need to continue giving users a reason to use the service alongside Facebook rather than instead of Facebook. I don't want to merge my personal social network with G+ if I'm honest. I can see where +Tim O'Reilly is coming from.
+Eli Fennell It says right there in the article, "Revenues in the first quarter were 6.5% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2011."
Welcome back! I already thought G+ was borked because there were hardly any Scoble-posts in my stream! :)

Regarding your evaluation: that's all fine, then, I still like the G+ experience much better, as it's more about ideas and less about people and gossip (at least my circles are).

- It reminds me of the Golden Days of Usenet!

I am still utterly unsatisfied regarding (too) slow development of G+ and the too crappy (Android) app... - I mean: no tablet version, still? Come on...
Hate is a very strong word +Robert Scoble I don't hate facebook, it just doesn't appeal for a great many reasons, privacy was a key issue for me another thing was all the drama and bitchyness, too many limits on posting, groups defaulting to having the chat on, and just the simple fact that facebook makes choices for the users, not taking into consideration what people actually want.
+Eli Fennell I wouldn't worry about facebook failing anytime soon. Everyone is in too deep. Meaning you can't turn the corner without hearing or seeing a facebook page link. It is on pizza boxes. The BBC says hey go to our facebook page for more content. Some companies entire web presences are based purely on facebook. And they already have the likes that have them connected with their users.
+Robert Scoble Mobile revenue is going to be a huge problem for them, and they know it. Think about this... Google's made what, 2.5 billion on mobile advertising revenue? Now that's split across all mobile platforms, including Android which they dominate. Android made them about $300 million last year. There's just no way they can make enough mobile revenue to make up for what they lose as people go mobile. That's why they want to do smartphones, but they're unlikely ever to dominate that market because they'd be pushing yet another walled garden ecosystem with no unique selling point (since Facebook can be used on any mobile platform).
good post, but somehow whenever Google and Apple release some new service, people will always try it out, even the facebook fanatics.
+Chris McIntosh I don't think Facebook will "fail", but I think the value of what they offer is declining in the face of new pressure.
+Robert Scoble I have a question pertaining to Instagram (disclosure: I have not used this app). Doesn't G+ accomplish basically the same thing with Instant Upload?

edit: They (facebook) were quick to add the camera app as part of their suite. I wonder how much this feature is adopted.
Well written. I seem to find it hard to get people to connect with me on my business fb page regarding my music (I'm new to it) but friends and family are always there on my personnel fb to tell me how many times they go to the toilet. I do use the personnel fb page to see friends kids that otherwise I would never see so I guess fb is ok. But and there is alway a but the reason I love g+ is because I get to learn just like I did reading your wonderful post plus people here love to connect and share information about themselves and the world at large. I now understand more about facebook from reading comments on googleplus then I did using facebook. So I have the same wish for fb & g+ as I do for all creatures on this beautiful planet a wish that one day we can all live in harmony. Peace
I hate facebook. I don't want to use it the same way I use G+. But that said I'm not really happy with how circles are working. When I click on my Education Circle unfortunately I have to read every post that those people have posted publicly. But the catch 22 is since I am not in their education circle if they didn't post publicly I wouldn't see anything. What would be good is if you could make some circles public so people could choose to join them. Eg. If I could go to +Robert Scoble's page and join his tech circle so that I only get the posts that he push's out to his tech circle that would be brilliant. I don't give a rats about his photography or family life (no offense +Robert Scoble) so I don't want to read every post he makes, But I do want to read everything he has to say about new tech and startups.
A thought in process that facebook might bring some creativity on Ads in mobile versions to be more effective. +Robert Scoble
facebook's main problem actually isn't google+, it is google search and youtube for advertising and apple itunes store for payments + in-app stuff.
For me, Facebook is for family and G+ is for real social networking. Can't network on FB like you can on G+. Also love being able to filter who I want to follow and post too. LOVE IT !!
+Robert Scoble I think Google let Instagram go because they're planning to buy Twitter. Not only did they need to save the money, but they then control one of the social networks Instagram shares with.
Coudln't you still get social data from google, and you have the location data already as well. Isn't that the data they are looking for?

edit: bring in some of the photo enhancing effects on the web version (g+), maybe make it better?
After deactivating my Facebook account for about three years I activated it again this year after I traveled away from dear family members, but after activating it I removed tons of people because I want it to be with the very close people and not worry about the audience of my posts.
Sue H
Oddly I used Facebook v others in the reverse: Facebook was for colleagues and others were for friends ~ reason being is that I use a pseudonym for blog/twitter/G+ (or did) that are inter-linked and DO NOT want my wallet name attached to some of the things I have written. Facebook is forced wallet name & so is work, so a good match.
I guess I don't really have that much to hide but I also don't want colleagues to rummage in my kitchen etc uninvited, while friends are welcome :)
+Robert Scoble I would gladly pay money for a good service if I did not have advertising, but neither fb or google whenever possible. I paid for the spotify until they began to make demands on fb account for new members. Google could be worth as much money from me if the possibility existed
Sue H
+Robert Scoble Sure, I mean more of a personal stuff being personal rather than illegal stuff ~ there is just real life personal stuff you don't take to a work environment and the facebook privacy crap has put me right of sharing personal / private / friends only stuff there.

Do I want my co-workers to know how much I play Star Wars The Old Republic? Or an interest in paganism? No.
They are very different worlds, no matter how much they try to copy or outdo each other.
Why would I hate one world because of another?

If steak and lobster can be loved together, why not Facebook and Google+?
I use Facebook to just not miss out any activities with my friends. Google+ and Facebook are 2 totally different social networks. I hang out more in Google + than Facebook, and it is only because I have the opportunity to get involved in discussions that I really am interested in.
In fb I am scared of interacting. I know that each single action I take will be posted in the stream and I am not always in the mood of acting public. I am not sure if I can fix this. For instance, can I like something and make this action private? Also, I like the flexibility of G+ for sharing. There is no substancial difference between a private message and a public message and the whole mechanism is much more intuitive...
I hate Facebook for the involuntary (far as I'm concerned) check-ins others can do on my behalf.
I went to Nando's for lunch with the guys, one of them facebook checked me in (unbeknownst to me), and when I got home my wife (facebook addict, natch) said "So, Nando's for lunch, what was the occasion?". I was shocked and got off facebook immediately, and I've hardly gone back. It still shocks me that people are ok with that.
+Robert Scoble I'm very interested by your analysis here. However, haven't you said on several occassions last year that you felt that the engagement was better on Google+ vs Facebook ? Also what about the differrence of interest graph vs social graph ? Isn't Google+ still better suited for the interest graph vs Facebook ? I do realize that Facebook is making progress on the interest graph side. Lastly I have long suggested to Google some architectural changes that would allow among other things the ability to subscribe to interests. This would allow someone to see your posts on technology but not necessarily your posts about cute cats. One of the appeals of pinterest is that one doesn't have to follow everything posted by someone but only the selected topics of that person that might be of interest.
My biggest issue with Facebook is kind of like the frog in the slowly heating pan of water that never realizes it's being cooked. I feel like that frog as the service is completely unrecognizable from how it was when I signed up nearly 6 years ago. When I realized I was being cooked I got mad at Facebook and haven't really ever been able to get past that, as much as I have to respect the things they're doing and the vision they have.
1. My Facebook friends are boring. I have a ton of friends over there, mostly people who've crossed my path in meatspace at some point or another, and while there's certainly a lot to read in my newsfeed, it's all so excruciatingly banal that I've stopped bothering. Checking it just felt like a chore. There's a reason I don't call these people anymore.

2. I don't like having my privacy settings on older stuff changed, so I've blanked everything. (I have a private group on there of people I communicate with solely through FB, and since G+ doesn't have comparable functionality yet, I can't delete the account entirely, much as I want to.) I also dislike being bombarded with ads, many of which weren't relevant even when I did have a billion likes.

3. The level of discourse here vs. on FB is no contest. Over here, it's intelligent, respectful, and thoughtful, even in disagreement. Yet have I seen an "lol wut".

4. The biggest thing that turned me off of FB is the realization that the newsfeed doesn't show you everything. I was missing posts that I wanted to read because FB decided that they weren't important enough for me to see. In that, as with many other things, G+ gives me more control. If I have someone in a circle where I want to see everything, that means I see everything. If I want the algorithm to sift through it for me, I have the option, but it remains optional. Ultimately, that's the biggest reason I've abandoned FB and set up camp here: with G+, I have complete control over my experience, whereas with FB, I'm just along for the ride.
Having to block games and apps individually as opposed to all of them. I don't use or want them. It's one of the many reasons I deleted my Facebook account months ago. My life was noticeably better for it.
+Robert Scoble your social experience is public and obviously you don't mind over-exposition, but my experience is way more private and although i can tweak my fb to respect my privacy that is just not as intuitive as on G+.
+Robert Scoble Thanks for the explanation. I'm using almost exclusively google+ and managed to arrive at a klout score of 74 and had been gaining on average about 5 000 new followers per month without the SUL and so far without videos. Maybe I would be better off spending more time developping the facebook/twitter side. Any advice ?
Facebook doesn't have docs integrated. I need tools like that for work. Web forms to gather info from my website outside of FB or G+ and organizing circles around that data were completely missed in your observations. Being an executive you probaby have people for that or enough $ in the bank where u don't have to think where more business will come from. Another valuable tool is having hangouts to help with realtime q + a and support. Screen sharing for example. For me Facebook is friends and acquantaintances but G+ its leads n spheres of influence beyond my real world social circle. It's like Chevy or Ford both good which is better? Both just tools to get u from A to B. Also FB is seasoned w/ an open Api. G+ is new w/ few innovations coming from a readily available Api. Your points will only seek to improve both platforms! So thanks for sharing.
+Fabrizio Paterlini Google+ has page admin capabilities but is far behind FB in that regard. I love both tools and would love FB more if u could easily access pages u manage in an even easier manner. The window for displaying managed pages is tiny.
I don't 'hate' anything, my life is too rich and interesting to worry about what impression I might be giving out by using certain tech. I'll use whatever happens to be pertinent at the time.
+Alik Elzin +Robert Scoble Robert uses rss feeds in FB making his feed subscribable + indexable by Google. That is why his stuff comes up outside of FB. If u don't use that setting then your posts are available to friends on FB or FB publicly (depending on settings) but still only in FB's "walled garden".
Great piece, +Robert Scoble. I probably agree with most of the things you say with the exception of noise. That's more to do with the people I follow on each service, though. Since G+ came along, I have removed all of the brand pages on FB. All of the likes, subscriptions, etc. and, like Tim, I now use FB solely for friends & family and making sure I don't miss out on events.

This means I get a lot of noise on FB. Lots of the typical "just had a dump" posts that nobody wants to see. It also means engagement is down, as the number of interesting posts is diminished. I have been able to counter this slightly by choosing carefully what I post on FB and sort of curating several niches.

Contrarily, I only follow people/pages on G+ that post stories I'm interested in. This means there is basically zero noise (of course there are exceptions) and engagement is staggeringly high.

I could probably say the same about Twitter, but for some reason my Twitter feed just seems too busy and I just lose interest. Interaction/engagement is way down over there and I usually just end up having a couple of 1-to-1 conversations. I put this down to the really bad notifications system.

Thanks for taking the time to do this experiment and report your findings. Very interesting!
+Robert Scoble I don't think Facebook will kill Twitter. The two are very different, ultimately, in how users are trained. Twitter is real-time with trending. No other social network's users are trained to get stuff out in real time and with trends.
+Robert Scoble Great points, quite enjoyed the read... G+ vs Fb is a constant topic here on G+. Many compare them and many don't think that comparing them makes any sense.

I will share a few of my experiences, as to why I am more active here on G+ as compared to facebook, maybe that will add some meaningful data to these debates:
- Firstly, I didn't like that all my interaction on fb was reduced to what I could afford as my public image. All "Friends" were considered equal on that platform and I couldn't simulate my real life where in fact I have different circles of relationships and different personas for each of them. I am a son, a colleague, a college-mate, a friend, a student, a boss, a subordinate, a neighbor. I am a lot of things but fb didn't quite seem to be built for that. Everyone was reduced, I think, to what they could afford to as a public figure, no matter how candid or formal they were. I have been told that fb has improved on this now, and copied the G+ circles model, but it seems a lot of work to go back and organize my contacts. This is what brought me to G+ and this is why I initially liked this network a lot.

- Secondly, when I found that I was all alone here on G+, with no one I knew in real life (except perhaps one or two technology enthusiast colleagues), I had no choice but to explore. What got me started were the "sparks", which unfortunately are a lot more hidden now in the new UI, and the huge search bar right on top of G+. I searched for a few things I liked and found people interesting enough to follow. This is, as rightly pointed out by Robert, not really easy with fb.

- Thirdly, and it is a personal thing, I am not very social, at all. I hardly interact with most people I know in real life or online, even here on G+. But what little interaction I can find the courage/time to do, I prefer it to be based on my interests rather than relations. And since its easier to connect with people of similar interests here, I prefer this over fb.

That all said, I would actually prefer if all my facebook contacts moved here over to G+ as well, simply because I feel a lot more in control here. I know fb is a lot more feature rich, but its UI is just too complex. I am software engineer, so software complexity doesn't scare me but I really do not prefer investing so much time in fb to learn all its controls and work so hard on them to make good use of that service. G+ is just a lot simpler.

Sorry for the extremely long rant... It was actually longer than any post/blog I have ever written :).
The integration of rss feeds into G+ will expand the reach and power of the tool. Beyond your great posts that is a big contributing factor to your success +Robert Scoble on FB and Blogs. Google is not making rss feed integration easy and its holding them back. The other item is the url. This is where FB SHINES. Google any prominent business and their FB page comes up. No useless #'s in the url. Makes it easy to market the page to people outside the platform.
All I could see in this post was "I have been dealing with some issues in my marriage lately and talking to lots of other couples".

That immediately triggers in my brain, put the book, screen, phone down and work on the most important relationship you have. And make a habit of reinforcing that relationship regularly before checking twitter, email, facebook, google+, and your bank statement!
+Lewis Davidson I have a nice url for my business page - http://plus.blahblahblah Easy to set up and doesn't force me to use a Facebook URL.

In addition, if it turns up in the search results then surely you just click it from there without having to worry about the URL at all?

Finally, without trying very hard, my G+ page comes higher in the search rankings than my FB page. That is the bottom line for many businesses.
Pretty good "summary" Robert. The angst against Facebook is because they refused to listen to complaints about the constant privacy encroachments for more than 2.5 years. Since Feb 2009 to be exact, if we leave aside ancient history like the Beacon program.
Only after Google came out with circles they started giving lists some usability.
Still their tagging photo system is crap. When I tag my brother I don't want every single of his friends to know that I tagged him, I just want him to know.
The criteria they use to reduce the noise is crap. I really want all my messages seen by my audience, I don't want to be wondering if they received it or not.
Woohoo your moving back to G+ again; now I can start reading your posts again.

For me Facebook is family only, hence why I didn't read anything from you.
I think some of the reason that I have grown to dislike FB is due to your point about addiction. G+ users aren't addicted (I'm sure Google would love them to be). When I see how people live and breathe on Facebook it makes me queasy. Especially given the lack of trust they've built up with the users. It's not Facebook's fault that their user base is addicted, it just unsettles me. So I know that there are plenty of people on Facebook that will spend hours browsing (aka face-stalking) and anything I post will be read into by people that I met 10 years ago. So I turn my privacy settings up and move on to G+ where I have greater clarity as to who will see my information.
Wow, 165 replies that I am not going to read so apologies in advance if I am a bit redundant.

I don't like how you can't edit posts in FB like you can on Google + (unless you are really really fast at hitting the X on your botched FB post.)

The slideshow viewer for photos on FB is a UI nightmare and absolutely horrid, speaking of posting photos, I have yet to post a working animated gif to my FB wall, not only that most of the time in order to view one you have to download it from FB and then open it.

That's about all I got this early in the morning...
I have never seen someone as amplified as you flip flop so quickly. I could go back and find a list you did 6 months ago stating why Google + is or might take over? Do you get kick backs from the likes of these companies when you put this out to the masses?
I didn't used to be one of those who hated facebook, but my distain for fb is growing. I am a geek, most of my friends and family are not, yet if I engage and comment on any of the many pages I follow it shows up in their feed. It's not so much that I care they see my comments, but I worry about being annoying to them. If there is something I think they will want to read, I will share it with them or post it to my wall.

Facebook help on the subject states if you aren't comfortable will your comments showing up in your friends feeds, simply don't comment. ugh, alot of help that is, isn't it? If I could I would just follow all those pages and people I subscribe to over here on g+ instead, but they either are not on g+ or they are not active.

So for now, I am still reading facebook, and not interacting what so ever with it. I am also starting to drop more and more likes/subscriptions to limit my time there.
Also, I have been noticing there is a lack of G+ integration in many new(er) apps, which tbh kind of irks me ... +Robert Scoble mentioned flipboard not having the g+ integration as soon as I read that, I thought to myself, "Google has the Currents App, why would they want to integrate into Flipboard." Then I came to realize I have not used Currents very much because its clunky and sucks.

App developers need to start integrating G+ into their apps , google needs to put more time and effort into making their apps better than a piece clunky piece of garbage with their branding on it, although I guess that works for apple products....
Chris S
I'm going to echo what a few other comments have mentioned. The Facebook hate comes from interactions with the addicted over there. People who live on Facebook make the more casual users uncomfortable.

In moving to G+, I'm finding that people have come from similar experiences with Facebook users and are a lot more conscientious about how they use the service. Sure, this results in data being shared a lot more slowly than on Facebook or Twitter, but is that necessarily a bad thing? People aren't being overwhelmed with incoming messages and so have time to think about before taking action. (This is something everyone should be doing anyway, but it's probably very common to look at the amount of clutter on Facebook and feel some overinformation panic.)
I feel like the Circles are easier to manage than the lists. It's probably not 100% true, but it is one of the things keeping FB to my friends and family and putting my more intellectual (for lack of a better word) leanings on G+.

As for privacy, I and at least one of my other frinds have requested that people not tag them on FB. It mostly works. This is part of my efforts to keep my FB network relatively small. I'm not really worried about privacy, because I have a blog. I'm obviously putting content out there for people to glean personal information from no matter what network I utilize.
I have to agree on almost everything you wrote, personally I do not like FB but i use it cause not many of my friends want to try something new. I have tinkered with all settings and narrowed down much of the noise but still find it to have to much noise in my feed.
It is alot easyer to just unfollow here if you find people to make to much noise so if i could find a way to make people try this out I am sure they would start to use it frequently as I am, then i would actually stop using FB. Everything here I find better, easyer to select who to share with, better looking and alot easyer settings in my opinion.
Wondered how long it would take before someone posted that +Robert Scoble obviously gets paid by FB/Google. Why is it always assumed influential people only post for cash?

I found this most informative, so much so I may give FB a pruning of 'friends' and have a fresh look as there are a lot of items mentioned that I wasn't using / aware of previously. I've no intention of leaving my beloved G+ though ;)
+Robert Scoble attention is the one thing we'll never have a surplus of, well at least not anytime soon. Best of luck.
Interesting to read this coming from you +Robert Scoble at a time when I find myself going back to Facebook for specific use cases, (after having "moved" to G+ when it launched last year, with some drama) and getting a lot of troll-hate and sarcasm from FB friends for my non-move.

My thing is this - I've realized there's things Google+ does better, that I want to do here (such as engage with/ get content from you, Trey Ratcliffe, Ron Garan, and many others who I wouldn't have known about if not for Plus - and to do hangouts)... but there are genuinely things Facebook does better - such as engaging with people you know IRL - friends, family, colleagues.

I'm a paranoid privacy nut on FB, but their opening the subscription model (as opposed to symmetrical 1 - 1 'friendships') and better privacy controls has genuinely alleviated some of my concerns. I still wont populate my 'social graph' as much as you, nor use those STP Timeline apps, but I don't feel like I need to be religious (word) about using either service.

Is a tool. Has its uses. Use it for what it's good at, I say!

Whatsay +Rohan Sawant ?
An interesting article, and good thoughts. You make some valid points, but a couple I disagree with.

For me, FB has a LOT more noise than G+. You say FB has improved their controls, but I have been over them many times trying to eliminate the things that bug me - particularly anything like a game notification - and you cannot do so because the underlying model FB uses is flawed. It should be opt-in, not opt-out, and it seems that every game app designer over there is always looking for ways to get around the limitations on what is and isn't a game related post, so they can send more stuff to their users's feeds, and thus to my wall, even though I have turned off game posts on every single FB friend I have. (That last is another example, by the way, of the lousy FB design model... I had to turn game notifications off on each of my friends individually, one at a time. There is no way to turn them off globally. And they assume I want to see them in the first place, which is wrong.)

On advertising, I object to FB's (opt-out based) decision to use my name and likes in ads shown to others. If I want to promote something I should get to make the choice, not them. And if I am good enough at it I should get paid for doing so. Anything else is morally objectionable as I see it.

And finally, on content, I find much better content and discussion on G+ than on FB. That may be a peculiarity of my friends list there vs. my circles here, but G+ tells me a whole lot more about the world than FB ever has, and is much better from my perspective. FB is gossip... G+ is news, if you will.
I've tried your suggestions for eliminating game related posts, +Robert Scoble, and they have not worked for me. Lately I've been getting game related posts (some sort of add-on for Castleville is the particular offender) that appear to be in no way associated with the game. If you click on the 'x' you mention there is no way to ban things from that app... just the user. Very annoying. I've taken to looking up apps (one at a time, again) to ban them entirely from the permissions control page, but that is time consuming and some app like things don't show up there either. PITA.

I never play games there. Never have, never will. Still get game posts from friends who do so. And again, I have disabled all game posts from every single friend I have there.

On discussion quality, I don't think I have ever seen a discussion like this one right here on FB, ever. I readily admit that could be a result of who I am friended with over there, but it never happens. Much less cruft here for me, but if I had to guess my circles are much less full than your own. Which leads me to...

I suspect we use both of these tools for different things. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you appear to be promoting yourself and your work in both places. Building your own brand if you will. I am not doing that in either place, and (at least for now) have no desire to do so. In both places I am a consumer - mostly - of things produced by others. Our needs and usage models may result in differing views of the platforms.

If I was trying to sell my art here (or on FB) I would need to do something akin to what you are doing, I suspect. That might well result in more noise in my feeds in both places, since it would require spending a lot more time expanding my social graphs. For the moment I am not doing that, and the result (for me) is what I describe. G+ is a LOT less irritating than FB to use.

I totally agree that Google will be making changes to G+ that could make it a lot more like FB in the long run. There are UI things they can do, though, to keep it more sane. Given how often FB breaks in my experience I am pretty sure the G+ developers are better, and given time will add the features and items needed here without breaking the platform nearly as often. FB's coders are, well, I guess I should keep the details of my opinion to myself, since this is a public forum. :)

--- edit --- fixed a few typos to make me appear slightly less illiterate. Try that on FB. :)
Interesting take on the changes to FB. I don't have a FB profile anymore so it's nice to get some perspective on how the changes to it are affecting users.
+Robert Scoble one thing I have noticed in myself with the +1 and the like differentiation... I find myself "like"ing something a lot faster than I give it a +1. For one, it just feels easier on Facebook. Secondly, if I like something I see, the natural thought is to "like" it. In other words, "plus" never crosses my mind so for at least me, it takes a little bit more concentration to make sure I remember to hit that +1 button. Just my thoughts.
I actually find myself wanting to +1 on Facebook, heh. Thanks, good perspective. I still find myself using both pretty often.
+Robert Scoble Question: What do you think G+ can engineer people to start doing socially (and mobile) that we aren't already doing?

From my perspective, FB got people to start sharing their personal information in a walled garden. Twitter got people to start sharing their status updates (and to a lesser extent photos) publicly. FourSquare started the location trend. Instagram made photos/images the new status update (and sort of leapfrogged FourSquare since a photo inherently has a location associated with them).

Do you think G+ Hangouts and YouTube streams/uploads could be their defining contribution if Google focused on that more? Or is that thunder already being taken by third party apps/services?
Great article Robert! I think G+ needs to work on outside integration as well. Like a G+ commenting system would do much better than the one from FB which is used by TC/HuffPo. I feel more comfortable commenting on G+ than on FB...and add Hangouts to it and you got a winner. Also, G+ is lacking anything special for Brands pages. Adding some analytics/file sharing/exclusive page would add some benefit.(ie like us on G+ and you can download this song/view exclusive photos/discounts). Right now, all this has to be done on the Brand's own website or through 3rd party apps on FB.
I find Facebook to be too creepy. I have logged out only to be on some other website and see my Facebook Face and statements saying, "6 of your friends have liked this page". I use Facebook but it is now fire walled into its own browser (the only thing I use Firefox for) just to keep it from tracking me everywhere. I also have to constantly change my preference back to sort by most recent. Facebook wants to help me see the things their way I guess.
When I joined Google + over a year back, I was almost as excited as you, Hrishi, +Mike Elgan and all other Google + enthusiasts out there...However I decided to wait a few months to shift over to Google + completely from Facebook....And the wait still continues!...I think there are a couple very imp reasons to this.

1.Facebook (like you put) has clearly improved on its security after Google + went live. The Subscribe feature that Facebook added clearly gave it a lot of advantage. For me, I could just follow people like you and get access to the content that wanted to!....I haven't used the lists feature extensively on Facebook, so cannot comment on that. ...there are loads of other features that Facebook and Google + added...however, for me, I think, +Mark Zuckerberg and team has done a good job in adding the most important features back to Facebook which made people switch away from Facebook. Result - people coming back to Facebook in some cases like +Hrishikesh Diwan :)
2.The most imporant part though, is the sheer FUN On being on Facebook. I can share my pics and important events with the people that care and matter the most to me - my family and friends.I can get involved in a whole of interesting discussions that matter not just to me but my friends and family. Google Plus does NOT do that for me. Social for me is not just reading tech news all the time, it means communicating with the people that I love and talk to everyday in real life too. Mind you, the same can be done on Google + once the whole population shifts here, but until then, Facebook is a clear winner in this regards.

Make no mistake, I love Google Plus. Whenever I am hungry for content, I switch over to Google +, coz not only does it deliver ultimate content but content from great many interesting sources. +Robert Scoble and +Terrence Lui are changing that by posting the same content on Facebook as well. And I love that!...I still believe Google Plus has the edge coz the Geek factor to the comments on Google Plus. That said, I have to agree with Hrishi and with my decision of having to be active on Facebook and Google Plus. I still do not find a very strong reason to shift to Google + completely.
Hm let's see. At one point in time I was really digging facebook.
Back then only a few people were actually using it, and I was trying to evangelize people into using it more. The people I was friends with really were important to me.

Now. I use facebook mainly for its chat/message function, which is awesome. Oh and of course, events are great, too. But the rest... remember MySpace when Facebook was the thing? You periodically checked back and only saw uninteresting stuff.

The turning point really came when I was involved in a political activity and debated a lot on facebook. A lot of people I am friends with didn't care about it, yet their stream constantly had me debate posts in them. It still is that way. I don't really care what other people comment about. That's where G+ shines, people who have circled me only get to see my posts, and not my comments on other topics.
facebook is an untrustworthy company, most posts are useless and uninteresting, hate all the farmcity and likes posts... summing it up, worthless in general
Facebook is too complicated and has many useless features.
it is about 5 month i have not had any activity on Facebook because G+ has what i expect from a social network. this is my idea anyway.
Your point "12b" resonates with me. I am not sure I will ever trust Facebook. I don't hate Facebook but rather use it sparingly.
Fascinating article +Robert Scoble. It's been a while since you wrote something epic like that and I think it basically highlights the fact that all these networks can co-exist. With the coming of Google+, facebook has gotten much better. They've introduced excellent subscription and list features. Similarly, google+ has benefited a lot from the timeline UI and now we're seeing cover pictures on here with a better UI.

In the end us "consumers" are winning. Initially when I started on g+, I almost quit facebook but I am glad I didn't. Now I use both platforms all the time getting various levels on engagement from a diverse group of people.
I might 'hate' Facebook it you forced me to be part of it but I only think of Facebook when someone asks me if I am on it. It is simply irrelevant to me.

I don't "hate" people who like to search for mushrooms. I never think about them unless they eat a bad one and die.

PS: This topic has become really tiresome.
My biggest disappointment with Facebook has been the ways they have changed security and how lists and other things work. They do it so often that I am now hesitant to setup the system again.

However, at least they had methods that worked and have improved and updated them. But adding Lists when I had already setup Groups to handle that issue for me and then prior to that I setup Friend Lists with all kinds of permissions but those didn't automatically upgrade to the new Lists feature.

But for me Facebook typically wins because there is more than just Tech and Photo people on Facebook...
What Facebook did right was bring a few technologies we already had together in one site. That was awesome.

What they did wrong was control that system so that you're trapped in their extremely limited version of what blogs and photo galleries and mailing lists used to be able to do, with no way for the user to address those shortcomings. On the old web you could switch tools, not so on Facebook. The problem now is that while it was new and hip it became quite popular, and because of that popularity we became trapped within their little system because "everyone is on Facebook". Then, they leveraged our inability to escape to monetize us.

The problem with Facebook is that it's not the Internet, but it pretends to be. What makes the Internet great is that it's an open and public system where you are only limited by your own imagination. You have many, many options to accomplish anything you can think of. Hosting providers, applications, your own ingenuity and creativity. Facebook is the opposite of that, you get what they give you, no more than that, and whether you like it or not. Internet users give Facebook more and more power by using Facebook's tools, and by using Facebook they enhance its popularity, and thereby sacrifice our ability to leverage the full potential of the greater internet.

It's nice to have a common platform to connect to for many reasons, but I think Facebook is a dangerous platform to choose.
I don't hate, Facebook, I never have. That being said, I rarely use Facebook, I don't have a business to sell though. I don't know why and if business "hate" Facebook, I don't see them talk about it. People who are "hating" on Facebook, as they call it, are just jumping on a bandwagon, thinking it's cool and the thing to do. Everyone needs to go where there niche is and where it makes sense for them to be, for the best interest of their business.

I believe if I had a business, I would take the best from all the different social media sites and use them to my advantage.

I truly do find more intelligence here in Google+ and always have. The small amount of time I spend on Facebook is on a family page. Cousins, Aunt's, Uncle's from all over the world. I want to keep it that way. I don't want people following me around from my family and getting involved in all my projects and posts.

I know I don't have the same investment in social media as the rest of you. But I thought I'd give you my perspective as "just a person" using social media.
I like that I can observe what really smart people are interested in across a range of topics and hear not only what they think, but also the sources of information they read. Far better place to learn rather than chatter.
Facebook has lately been getting worse and worse for me. So bad that at times I need to close the browser window and re-open just to get the page to load. Could be just me. The timeline interface is lame. Having to read a post on the left, and then scroll back UP to read the next post on the right is counter-intuitive.
Also, scrolling back down your own timeline (say getting into March), you only see some of your own posts. The rest are filtered out for your convenience. You have to jump through hoops to see all your posts.
I like seeing updates from my wife, so I changed the settings to "show all updates" (or whatever it's called). Yet facebook still filters out posts from her.
I really don't want to know everything Joe Blow is reading on Yahoo, or listening to on Spotify. Share an article if you think it's good, but this isn't twitter. I don't need to know when you go to the bathroom.
Every new game that comes out needs to be re-blocked so I don't get spammed by it.
Granted the last two are user errors, but I still need to deal with other users stupidity.
If I see a you (friend of mine) reply to a post of your friends. I can read their post and your reply.. But that's it. I cannot comment on it. Why do you show this to me facebook?
Just because I "like" something doesn't mean I want to give them all my info. There is no fine line there. With circles I can add something to a circle, and they only see the info I want my circles to see.
Sort by most recent. Every couple of days I need to tell facebook AGAIN I want to see recent posts up top. Not what it thinks I want to see as "hot posts"
+Tzafrir Rehan That could happen on Google+. You have no control over what other people post and how they choose to share.
I hate it because: It's full of people who likes Idols and Big Brother and it's mainstream.
Anything which rules attracts hate : FB,Apple(yes there are apple haters) etc - if there exists a service or product reigning at the top its bound to attract criticism - it will usually be from crowd who worship some other product or they just want to say something different for the sake of it - as far as G+ and twitter are concerned as of now - they are a no competition for FB - not even close.
Twitter takes some time to get some engagement but may not suit everyone : on the other hand on G+ - it just depends if people would see what you want to share- you can totally go un-noticed if your group or set of friends are missing on G+.
Also saying something negative about FB grabs attention on G+ - as +Robert Scoble started this post on FB hate- this post might create a very long thread - check out the turnout :) - it speaks for itself.
Great write up +Robert Scoble, I feel Facebook and G+ are different enough that I still like and use both... Cheers!
+Anthony Benel google+ doesnt push posts of second level connections into my mother's stream, and google+ is designed so one is always mindful of a post's audience.
Google+'s community is far better than Facebooks. I can actually have a conversation without someone telling me to "fuck off" everytime they don't like my ideas on G+
+Robert Scoble It's not about hate. Hate about such a topic is very childish. I think there is where I see the difference between the two platforms:

Facebook = Emotions
Google+ = Objective

This also reflects the different style of social networks you are able to build. On Facebook, you normally connect with people you already know. Connections (friendships) have to be bi-directional. One important topic on FB is your personal status update, which is mostly about what you do right now, or how you feel.

On Google+ you interact with people which share the same interests and you start to build a complete new social network of people you have never met. Connections can be uni- and bi-directional. I am not so into personal status update (too gossip), but like to have good discussions, and learn new stuff. That's why I prefer Google+.
+Robert Scoble I have no idea why, but I was never the least bit attracted to FB. I grabbed G+ with both hands as soon as it was available, yet also can't explain why. Must just be the vibe.

Thank you for this post, it clarifies quite a bit.
I used to like Facebook, and I've grown more and more disillusioned with it. Something about the interface makes it too voyeuristic ... so that most people are performing in a different way than they would be if they were interacting the way they do on G+. Also, I don't trust the corporation. I don't completely trust any corporation, but I know people who work at Google and generally feel that it's the lesser of the corporate evils. The only bummer for me is that more of my friends and family aren't on G+, so I keep going back to Facebook when I want to interact with them. Agree with +Tim O'Reilly and +Guy Kawasaki that there are different communities of users on different social networks. I can't explain the hatred since I'm more cynical than venomous. One last thing, I've heard it said that Facebook is like training wheels for the social media internet ... kind of like AOL functioned as training wheels for the larger internet back in the 90's. That makes sense to me.
I spent a week on Facebook in 2006 and left because it felt like joining The Church of Scientology. You're not supposed to be in touch with everyone you've met in your life, which is what the gui sublimely suggest you should, because it increases traffic. You're not supposed to share the hue of the carrot you're eating, because the gui sublimely suggest you should. You're not supposed to constantly expect attention from other people, because the gui sublimely suggests you should. The same way you're not suppose to feel fantastic constantly because a psychological test administered by the Church sublimely suggest you should, to be able to "help" you. The concept of normalcy on Facebook is fundamentally pathological, designed to play on your social instincts to draw you in and keep you there.

On top of all this, which forever will be the reason I'll never join Facebook regardless of how it might change to accommodate me, is Mark Zuckerberg. He's the most obnoxious, unethical, sociopathic, self-absorbed moron alive. Joining Facebook is supporting him. The personality disorders he carries around, is the essence of Facebook. It's incomprehensible to me that anyone would help him feel like the admistrator of the fate of mankind, which is what he in a different choice of word stated he is. Paraphrasing: "PC has Internet. Internet has Facebook. I have everyone who has a PC". He meant to sound clever, but just revealed himself as a 22 year old douche and a moron with delusions of grandeur.
+Robert Scoble Nando's is just a Portuguese takeaway joint ! But my point is that the choice of whether or not to tell the internet of my comings and goings should be mine to opt in to or out of, notwithstanding the question of sharing every tiny detail of my life with my dear wife!
"21 likes on Facebook vs. 13 on Google+: shows the deeper addiction over on Facebook"

There are now 238 comments, +222, and 87 shares on G+, and about 16 comments, 93 likes, and 3 shares on Facebook.

This shows a deeper addiction on Google+, to use your own logic.

As for their financial prospects, Facebook revenue growth has now decelerated for 5 straight quarters. To be worth anywhere near 100 billion they will have to unleash a major new revenue stream and make each user much more valuable...could happen, but has not been demonstrated yet.
for some reason i dont trust FB. I trust google more than any other company. I feel Mr G is more open.
You touch on’s trust! I’ve been, like many, a Googling – Gmail, calendar, contact etc..user for years… I love G. I’m a tech junkie, an as a tech junkie over the years I’ve read the tech articles, listened to commentary on podcast about the activities of Facebook and Google. I’ve more time then not felt better about the Integrity of Google as a company then Facebook. So I never signed up for Facebook an frankly never will. Yes, Facebook in many ways have addressed much of their failing. But I think the culture is what it is.
I do feel though if the people I know, where informed at the time as I was they probably would have second thoughts also.

But for me G+ in here and now I can continue my relationship with G. I’m certainly not an addicted social media / services junkie either. I’m the casual social user. G+ meets my needs. The two services are more and more alike anyway an so there just isn’t enough reason for me to move., so it like chevy an ford thing just which one do you trust. . I guess this is what Google’s dilemma with G+ swaying Facebooks users to jump ship. They’ll have to do what the auto makers do spend thousand trying to make me think there is a real difference to choose one over the other.
Good rundown +Robert Scoble . To me it's not a matter of one or the other. It's a matter of where do you want to spend your time and where is the best place for you to give and get information. For me it's Facebook and now Google+ equally. I dabble with Twitter but to me it's just not social enough. I feel like I have to chase after posts to have a conversation. Where on FB and G+ that's easy.

I don't get the "You gotta hate one to like the other" mentality many have. It's stupid. They are both different, yet the same. I will say that Facebook screwed up the definition of a "friend" . So that is probably the number one problem for many not using it. As that word implies a deep connection. You and I are "friends" on Facebook yet if we ran into each other on the street I doubt we'd recognize one another (unless I'm walking around in my blue shirt with my thumbs up! haha). So in that essence Facebook has messed things up. But, by them adding the Subscribe feature the game has changed. Now I don't have to friend everyone and their dog. I rarely friend anyone I don't know in person now on there and the ones that I do friend that I haven't met I've had many conversations with online and trust that by them seeing a picture of my kids they aren't going to kidnap them tomorrow!

So I wish people would get off of the "I dropped my Facebook account because Google+ is so much better" bandwagon. It's lame.
**It's the FB creepy line.
**You seriously text and drive?
**FB is the loneliest place to go if you are having true problems, such as we do as special parents. Groups suck @$$ on FB. If G+ were to organize official support circles that we could join, we could update our friends and also gain new insights from other parents+.
** +Vic Gundotra Fix it for me darling.
+Tim Sproule : I see your point. We should get an option to show our posts-group (a group we create for a specific type of purpose, like a edu, games , VC info posts group)
so when I add you to circle I can just select your games-post group instead of everything. we subscribe to the interest group of a person rather than the whole person.

and that be an amazing day. I wonder if +Google+ is working on this type of updates. ;)

this would make it a easier for everyone to get better content. But This would take significant time & effort, as this creates changes in the basics of g+, i'm guessing here. ;)
+Robert Scoble : add me to list who can't see your public FB posts. I'm not in FB and why should I need an account to view your public stuff. It is pointless. :)

Why doesn't FB offer a way to take our data back? It can easily do that. They are fine with receiving but not fine in giving back our content?

And yes, the privacy issues, Mark is brilliant indeed. But his hunger for data is becoming an issue. Many changes or pushes have been made with the intent of making us consumers a better product for them. imo, he is way too agressive and it is going to be an issue.
+Robert Scoble :
1. How much is needed before FB starts giving a better feed?
there should be a range right? Apart from your well-filled profile, how many likes are required. You spent nearly a month on feeding FB? So how much time does an ordinary person has to spend to improve his feed?

frankly after 8 yrs of FB's existence, people who may care to do this might social pro's like yourself. The rest are going to be stuck with their sucky feed. ;)

3. You have mentioned about machine learning with VC as an example. How good is it with other normal things cycling, gaming, hobbies, painting etc? Have you tried that? Is it good enough?
Still, it is ahead of g+ since it has more data. But I feel that it is mainly because of the professional data that FB has.

5. I hope you reduce on texting while driving. :)
People find g+ addicting. The problem is, for a common person there is not much differentiators to join in g+. So the number of people addicted to g+ is far less as compared to 8 yr old FB.
Pinterest & Instagram have success because they did one thing well and in a unique way.

7. What noise control in FB would you like in g+? mention the top ones?

8. +Vic Gundotra has been quite careful about the API's in g+.
But I'm sure they will do better than FB, as they have made the game notifications better in g+. FB is literally years ahead of g+ but g+ can catch up. It is upto them how well and soon they're going to do it.
PS: Vic, already excited about the Nexus Tablet and the possible g+ tablet version.

9. What about ads before you pumped info on FB? Were they worse?

11. Your posts here dont get more engagement than the FB?

12. FB has forced people to lock themselves down. ;)
FB has repeatedly breached user's data. OpenGraph is lovely for a social pro like you, but usual people are submerged wit data overflow and they arent able to control it easily. Even an extreme user like you need time to sort things with FB, think of the casual people.

14. This should be done better. We should have colored notifications and priorities for notifications in g+.

A nice article and glad to have a detailed article from you. :)
+Arvind Kumar: iw onder how well pinterest is doing really. interesting new article here:

"The service (Pinterest) leapt from 6 million monthly active users on Facebook to a peak of around 14 million. And then, in just the last thirty days, it has plummeted, falling to around 8 million. Zuckerberg giveth, and he taketh away. Its daily active user count has been cut in half, from a high around 2.2 million to 1.1 million today."
Well I think it's because Joss Whedon has no gravitas, especially not compared to Nolan who adds more than just comedy and action to his films and they transcend the comicbook origin instead of being a slave to the genre-- Oh, this isn't the thread about all the Whedon vs Nolan fandom hate?

Yeah, to compare one thoroughly defined and well known group (in this case, under the guise of "product") to the other, especially a group you're already part of, is human nature. It isn't about Facebook being a bad product or Google being a good product, or the users being jealous about "the other guys".

The same thing is happening everywhere, like, as in the example, in cinema right now. I can't begin to describe all the adversity between Marvel fans and Batman fans since the Avengers came out. There's a thread on a Nolan fan site specifically about the Avengers movie, and it's currently 651 pages long, with 10 posts on each page. Needless to say, a large number of the posts are along the lines of "Looks like a clusterfuck", "I want to watch Marvel fuck up bigtime.", "I think that Joss Whedon is a really bad choice for a director." and on and on... And underneath it all it isn't about the movies at all. When you get focused and unflinching hatred, like you must've seen here in order to start this topic, it comes down to emotions, which aren't rational at all.

People like adversity, and groups like conflict. Pointing out the flaws in the other guy makes you feel good about yourself.
Couple this with Facebook having a lot of things that can be criticised, even way before G+ was made - its privacy issues, Zuck selling info, its increasing complexity, ads, all the drama that happens there and the rampant stupidity of most conversations - and you won't get a lot of praise from another network that, besides being mocked by Zuck et al. at the same time as FB implements G+esque features, is filled with more mature users, like photographers/artists, journalists, bloggers and geeks, in general people who are likely to be very critical of these sorts of services, regardless of their analytical skills and attention.
1) Quality of content. I've been very aggressive recently on what shows in my feed, and yet despite that I don't find useful content much of the time.
2) App permissiveness. Adding an app almost always gives way too many permissions to that app and then I don't know if I can ever really trust the app to manage my data ethically.
I don't hate Facebook as much as I hate the content I see there, which admittedly isn't Facebook's fault. With 900 million users, there are a lot of idiots posting dumb things.

I prefer the design of Google+, but it doesn't hurt that there are less of people's racist uncles here too.
Very interesting post plus an interesting conversation along the comments.

Personally I don't feel comfortable about an either-or situation. Posting and commenting is one thing, finding interesting stuff is another thing. Maybe, in an ideal world, I could use my social platform of choice for posting and commenting, while I read stuff that comes from any social platform. Yet it is clear to me that this does not take into account business considerations of these platforms...

A second comment I'd like to give is about targeting. While in my opinion precisely targeted ads are of much more use than globally distributed ads, I expect that in future the involvement of consumers would hopefully start some time before a product or a service has been defined. Marketing should also be about listening to consumers while building a product or establishing a service. Social platforms will be of use if companies understand that consumers share very personal information on these platforms, which can be gathered through data mining - or by sharing posts, comments etc. All of this seems to be relevant not only for retailers or companies, but for politics, govenment etc. as well. Targeting will not be the only commercial use of social platforms. Involving people or at least listening to people's thoughts will be a gold mine. But again: who could tell, which platform works best for this?

Anyway: thank you +Robert Scoble for starting and feeding this interesting thread!
I don’t know if “hate” is the proper word to describe my feelings towards Facebook. Regardless of the privacy controls or lack thereof, I am content on using the service to suit my needs.

While having personalized ads provides a unique experience, it is also something that I would prefer not to have my image via my profile used without my permission. Therefore, I have disabled this feature (at least to my knowledge I have). In all honesty, I think there are too many ads on Facebook. When I look at my feed, I can count a total of 6 ads running down the right side of the screen.

There are many things that I like about Facebook, which include being able to stay abreast of what is happening with friends and family. Recently, a friend of mine had a birthday get-together at a local pub. It was more than just his birthday but also the debut performance of his band. At this current time, I would not be able to learn about such events via G+. Even if more of my friends and family migrate here, I’m not sure it would be organized. Nonetheless, there’s no reason why it could not happen on G+, especially if there are improvements that make it easier.

While we’re on the subjects of birthdays, I have decided not to disclose mine online for a variety of reasons. In fact, one of my former high school teachers indicated that his birthdate is omitted from his profile as a possible deterrent against identity theft. This brings me to my next point about Facebook. Timeline. As of today, I have yet to receive the upgrade. Personally, I do not care for it when I view those of my friends and family. It’s a lot harder to read and takes longer to load. Moreover, it organizes one’s life from beginning to the present, which could be used in a way that may not be realized yet. One of these suggested ways came from an article I came across last fall (see below):

Facebook's Timeline Will Be Boon for Hackers
By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld (September 23, 2011)

With the introduction of Timeline, everyone now has a diary account of their entire existence. Not only could be a nostalgic endeavor for yourself and those that care about you, but perhaps outsiders could make some use of it. While the information may have been available prior to Timeline, it is now in a more easy-to-use format. I suppose it remains to be seen as to the exact ramifications of Timeline.

Facebook, in its present state, allows me to communicate with my friends and family and to know what’s going on in their lives. Being a private person, I don’t generally share much about myself on either Facebook or G+, but that’s my prerogative to do so. I don’t share anything that earth shattering and mainly post stuff about my favorite musical artist with clips via Youtube. I also provide my own commentary on the songs and/or albums, which I hope gives it some originality. I usually post the same stuff on Facebook as I do on G+ because that’s how I roll. However, I tend to be more in depth on G+ and have a more succinct version on Facebook.

As for the notifications on Facebook, I would say that they work pretty well. The one thing that I did not like over the last several years was when the private messages were merged into the chat system. I tend to write a lot sometimes and compartmentalize my thoughts, so having chat and private messages separated is helpful for me. I guess you cannot please everyone and however TPTB determine is the best the system is what prevails. Still, it would be nice to have some acknowledgement from Facebook whenever we have issues or comments as we can sometimes experience on G+.

Well, there is probably more I could discuss on this topic, but I will leave at this for now.
+Robert Scoble What I find most surprising about your post is that you like the personal advertisements. Everyone just complains about how it brutally voids your privacy, as if all marketers personally clicked Send ad to this user, but you are one of the few who share my opinion on this :)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: morality in corporations is extremely rare. "We live in a capitalist society". Yeah, but there is such a thing as dosage.
Your point #5 explains it perfectly. Addiction is now seen as something positive, a nice feature. It's what VCs look for, that and virality. It sells! Who cares! (This reminds me of the typical pitch that new breed of house brokers used before the subprime crisis)
This is where I disconnect from the trend. As a human being, I'd rather use social networks for the value they bring, the connectivity, the possibility, and not because someone wants me to stay around for as long as possible in order to see plenty of ads and thus give a nice sales pitch to ad companies.
MORALITY people. Dosage.
But in the end, it's personal, I guess. I can't tell the next guy how to use his stuff. Even though I love all these new tools, I know I don't want to be the super-trendy 24/7 addicted type. Then again, I guess I won't face marital issues, and stay alive on the road!
Silly Robert, Facebook is for kids. ;)
I jumped out of Facebook a long time ago. Now I forward G+ there and make occasional comments when my phone mentions that I've got a response there. After twitter and G+, I find the UI confusing and frankly see no reason to invest in learning it.

(Not that Google are by any means perfect in this respect.)

I have a pathological distrust of facebook apps. Best case is that they steal my time without improving my life. Worst case is that they steal my identity as well. Am I being stupid?

Of course, I'm not attempting to build a presence: just be slightly more interesting than I would be if I sat watching TV.

I think I see the point about direct messages: it would seem to be easy to link this in with gMail. However, being who they are, Google would almost certainly make a horrendous hash of it. For me, seeing notifications when I am called out is enough. But I am not a social megastar.
If people need to put the time and effort in to make it work, it's not built well enough. 

The redesign looks nice. It needs to be. Facebook is just a plain, ugly mess. 

Couldn't agree more about all the hate on G+ though. That's what hold this platform backs. So sick of Google sycophants and apologists. Even as a huge Google fan, it's very tedious. The comments section is always so predictable as well. Always feel like I've read the same comments before on some other post. 
Excellent analysis (although i don't agree with everything).

What i love about G+ is i can find this post within seconds and make a comment. That is the no. 1 reason i am leaving Facebook. I'm not someone who cares about building up my Klout score, but focusing on helping people get healthy who suffer from anxieties and addictions (like myself and my partner).  Whether anyone sees my tardy comment, that's another question — but at least i have gone on record. Hahaha.

Just to report on my personal experience: i have done what Robert said about giving Facebook a lot of information about myself, and the more i give Facebook, the less accurate its ads are. And i'm talking X-ing out ads and explaining why hundreds and hundreds of times.

BTW, what happened to these wonderful Facebook lists? Why does Facebook downplay lists? When i built up to 5,000 friends, i carefully put people in lists, some in more than one list, and for a long time (until Google+ and Circles) there was absolutely nothing i could do with lists. Now you can target posts to lists. And you can share lists, but Facebook does not make sharing very easy. I bet less than 1% of Facebook users even know what lists are. But Robert's lists there are incredible, and he is one of the most generous people i know in sharing things that take him hours to do.

I love Robert. But i guess that Facebook has now moved me into a Facebook-haters category, and i used to be one of Facebook's biggest fanboys. Lots of reasons, and here's a working document on some of them (not written by Facebook's PR team but by disgruntled Facebook users who find Google+ a far superior platform for collaboration and robust human interaction).

I welcome corrections, and i am not nearly finished describing my Facebook experience or fleshing out the Google side, but i feel that there is a big problem at the core of Facebook's operations:

From Bloomberg Businessweek, October 8-14, 2012, reporting on how Facebook functions internally from an engineering standpoint. Facebook doesn't beta anything. It runs as an unending series of quick, on-the-fly tests with actual customers.... The de facto proctor of these tests is Chuck Rossi. In a company full of people trying to establish their wackiness, Rossi stands out. To the left of his desk he has a large, fully stocked Tiki bar with a lot of Scotch.

I mention the above, because my experience with Facebook software has been (I'm checking the thesaurus to come up with a word and can't find one that fully expresses how i feel, but let's try) EXASPERATING. But that's because i hate wasting time, and Facebook has wasted more of my time than i care to admit as it beta-tested its software on me.

I'm currently on my 110th try at downloading my file using the download feature of Facebook. One user just got his download after his 52nd attempt. Maybe the servers are too busy doing downloads for people who are exiting.

I'm sure you've read this report before, but it bears re-reading:

More importantly, if we track the change between GWI.7 (Q2 2012) and GWI.8 (Q4 2012) contribution to Google+ is exploding. “Posting comment about my daily activities” grew 100% compared to 8% on Twitter and a 2% decline on Facebook! This is generally mirrored across the board. For example, “uploading and sharing photos” increased 75% on Google+, 40% on Twitter, but saw a 2% decline for Facebook. Areas where growth is consistent are “bought a product or service” (up 113% on Twitter, 80% on Facebook and 64% on Google+) and “watched a full-length TV or film” (up 113% on Twitter, 73% on Facebook and 59% on Google+). It should be noted that in both cases the social platforms are unlikely to be the points of transaction, but rather the source of discovery for products and content that are fulfilled off site (we will seek further clarity on this in the Q1 2013 wave).

In short, this shows that the gap between the three services is closing and the perception of Google+ as a ghost town needs to be reconsidered....

The data is clear; Google+ is a growing success and is here to stay. The global internet will increasingly be defined by Facebook, Google and Twitter, representing a tremendous opportunity for marketers to build brands on a truly global scale. Currently, not enough brands and agencies have a Google+ presence, but this needs to change, particularly when you consider the following facts:

• G+ is fully integrated into all Google services, including, crucially, Google Search, (which is used by 83% of the global internet population) and YouTube (the number 3 social platform in the world).
• Content from Google Plus is increasingly showing up in search results for those with access to “Search Plus Your World."
• Turning all Google accounts to Google+ provides a big head start and guarantees little user drop off.
• Deep integration with Android may be the most important factor for brands and marketers as mobile becomes an increasingly important part of strategies. Android will continue to be at the forefront of the smartphone revolution around the world for the foreseeable future, and it is likely the Google+ will play an ever more significant role for Android users.
> Why does Facebook downplay lists?

Because lists are not beneficial for Facebook. The more you limit whom you share things with, the more silent the network will go. It is not without reason that you are shown things from friends of friends when a friend liked something, whether you care or not. I only recently found this out, and would be outraged if Google+ started doing this. Youtube tried to, but then I unfriended everyone and I don't know if they still do.

With lists, or circles, it's not very possible: posts are only visible to those on the list, not friends of friends. Less content means less Facebook user activity, means less popularity and more time for other things, and means less revenue.

> I'm currently on my 110th try at downloading my file using the download feature of Facebook.

Wtf, I would not spend time on this. This sounds like a waste of time to me. What are you going to do with your data anyway? And it's not like Facebook deletes the data after you leave, so whynot leave your Facebook account running as well.
Look this up
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