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Why you'll continue to need both Twitter and Google+ (and, even, Facebook too)

I read the results over on +Marshall Kirkpatrick's poll: about why Twitter users aren't using Google+.

Even at my most evangelistic Google+ moments, I have NOT left Twitter or Facebook. Why not?

Well, Twitter continues to be THE PLACE to get signals about the news. When Steve Jobs died it was the first place I posted. Why? Because I knew that would be the best place to "signal" to other people that something important had just happened. I don't see Facebook or Google+ replacing this. Why not?

1. Forced 140 characters. This continues to be the best way to reach the most humans on the earth. Many people have crappy cell phones with small screens. Twitter is -- by far -- better for reaching these people than Facebook or Google+. Also, Tweets are very portable. They work well in a variety of clients and displays. Even on my iPhones and Android phones I greatly prefer to read the news on Twitter than on Google+. The format here just isn't very fast, or the information density tight enough to make it best for reading news. For instance, if I wanted to see what 1,000 people thought about Steve Jobs' death, it took a lot less time to do it on Twitter than to do it here.

2. The most news, important people, and brands are on Twitter. You might not think this matters, but I've been asking lately at the end of my interviews what social networks people are on. Twitter? Always. Facebook? Almost always. Google+? More than half, but not always. So, if I want to see what someone thought about an event I have to go to Twitter. If I want to read a business's output, I have to go to Twitter. If I want to see what a news organization is saying, I have to go to Twitter. For instance, here's a list of world news brands on Twitter:!/scoblemedia/world-news-brands Nothing like this exists on either Facebook or Google+.

While I'm thinking of other services, I can never see a way for my real-life family and friends to move off of Facebook (most of them aren't on Twitter OR Google+). So, Facebook will continue to be dominant in what it does.

So, Scoble, why are you still on Google+?

For several reasons:

1. The length here means I can have a complete thought. I can't DO what you are reading now on Twitter and, while I could do this on Facebook, it just isn't as nice or as expected there.

2. I can have a REAL conversation THAT STAYS BUNDLED TOGETHER here. Yeah, over on Twitter you can try to have a conversation with me. But I find that I'm unwilling to invest much in those conversations. Why not? Because they aren't bundled together. Things we each say there lose their context VERY QUICKLY. And finding things in the search engine later is very difficult, if possible at all. (Here, though, the search is very good, oh, wait, that's a new point).

3. The search here is very good. Facebook doesn't even try to have search. Twitter's search sucks, especially for posts older than a few months. Here, though, I can find posts I made in July. I can also find most of the associated posts on the same topic. Here, look for yourself. These are the posts about the final Space Shuttle flight:

4. Photos and videos are MUCH BETTER displayed here. Twitter will struggle with this for a while, even though it has a photo service of its own now. I will probably never use Twitter as a photo service now that Google+ is here. Heck, look at my photo of Evan Williams and Biz Stone, cofounders of Twitter. I can't ever see that in Twitter unless I click on a link.

So, this is all to say that, while I wish I didn't have to use Twitter (I don't like the leadership of the company, I think they've become uninnovative and non-responsive to user needs) Twitter is going to be important to be on for quite some time.

Facebook's leadership has a different problem: they freak me out with their expansive vision (which is to build a new media company, one where the media comes to you. The thing they don't tell you is they need to know everything about you in order to do that). That said, I'm not leaving Facebook either, because I quite like their vision, even after it freaks me out, and because all my friends and family are there.

That's a whole lot of words to say you're gonna need at least three social networks now and you'll just have to deal with it (and we haven't even talked about LinkedIn here, or the niche social networks like Foodspotting or Foursquare). I dealt with it by getting three huge monitors at home.

What do you think? Are you able to get rid of any one of these three services?
Thomas Ledbetter's profile photoJERome KARdos's profile photoRicardo Rivaldo's profile photoEwart Corrigan (Cottage Scotland)'s profile photo
It's called hedging your bets.
Buzz supersedes Twitter. You don't need to use G+ to use Buzz. It integrates with Youtube and Reader. 140 chars is stupid... hell SMS is stupid. Also Twitter can't handle its infrastructure well... their architecture is an abomination of spaghetti monster code.
I don't see Twitter abandonment in my future, nor Facebook. I'm simply adding G+ to the mix.
Another great post
Who has the time though for all 3?
Very good post. I do have to disagree on one point. Twitter's search does not suck when used properly especially during breaking news/weather events. You can really excavate and discover what you're looking for if you used the advance Twitter search function.
Three for each social network. OMG. And I thought one was too much! Great post, and it makes sense.
When Google+ first came out it was billed as a potential "Facebook killer." As things settle down it is clear that all three services are unique. And needed. I find myself lurking on Plus far more though. But I use all three and all three have something or do something the others don't.
twitter is the place to watch the US Open by live feed, the place for Wimbledon Live feed, for LeTour and many many other things without guzzling cpu... and great place for NHL hockey.

nd who cares if photos are better displayed here when all you need is a link added to a tweet?

It is easiest tool for connection between FB and many other networks..and why give up FB? crazy.
+Peter Wilds Well, I have to admit, I'm spending less time on FB these days. But I still check in--especially as part of my work. I have to log into FB as part of my job and monitor, post, etc. for my organization. And for some of my friends, that is where they prefer to communicate. So be it.
You're probably right, but coping with all the feeds means something has to give; for me at least. Too much noise with all the signals. There's probably an opportunity for an enterprising developer in there somewhere.
Great post and very much agree. I think when something huge happens on a global scale most people will head to twitter and use search more then any other social network. It will will always stay but it will never have a decent photo or video sharing experience
Why do I have to choose? My family and less techno friends are very low volume on Facebook so no real effort to keep up on the phone. Twitter is just so upto the minute and information dense its my News Paper. G+ is my magazine, in depth articles and I agree, its search made it so much more powerful; just think of a topic and dive in.
I never use Twitter and I rarely use Facebook. I'm G+ all the way!
I also use Twitter to get the absolute latest news, and G+ to post my Blogs and to get the cool stuff first:)
I should probably attempt to resurrect my twitter account.
I've never really gotten the hang of Twitter. I have an account, but rarely look at it, even more rarely do I post to it.

I liked Facebook, for a while. Then all the game crap and advertising really got to me, and their privacy issues got to me more. The most recent changes (after Google+) REALLY made me hate it more, and although I haven't deleted my account, I've stopped logging in regularly.

Google+ is it for me, and I really don't feel a lack by not using Twitter, and by tossing Facebook into the 'occasional' pile. I don't see a need to use all three, though I'm happy for those who can find the time in their busy days to keep up with all three social networks (or more than three).
No, in a short answer. I think I may be a little different to many users, as I use the social networks to disseminate wildlife conservation news and content from my own African based project, and so to cut off any of the three platforms would reduce significantly that audience. The trending topics on twitter are very important for those searching for niche news, such as what I post and link through to. Facebook has a large audience again, bringing together a lot of people with specific interests, again for me, the keyword is Africa, but there is also a lot of unfocused personal "ego" updates, a lot of PR dept propoganda, although when I post there I always follow up and engage with those who have responded. Google + I see as being able to connect me at a deeper level with a professional audience, whose interest is actually engaging in discussion, such as you have posted above: I think for me it also comes down to time. Twitter is quick, a headline and a link. Facebook, a paragraph, a photo or video. But G+ is a discussion, the people here want to be here, and are interested in such interaction. All three platforms have been very important to me, but already in a short time frame, G+ has connected me with a new audience who have already started contributing to my own work in Africa.

Take care, Matt.
I find Twitter is the best place for "real-time" news. Even people who don't use it much can go there and find out what is happening in real time... as a friend of mine did during a tornado watch/warining where her power was out, she got the info she needed on Twitter with her phone.
o Bryan
I like your breakdown, especially when you mention twitter being the best place to reach people due to its simplicity. Now that you mention it, posting links on twitter, in general, is less effective than elsewhere. That's not to say there isn't a reason to link outward, but people expect short and quick blips of info there.

On Facebook, you have a more personal expectation within the userbase (at least, within mine), so it makes sense that they aren't pushing search as much as they are advertising, for example.

Here, you have more of a media powerhouse with a pretty decent commenting system. It's well-rounded setup.

Nice thoughts Robert, as always.
I agree. Each of the three systems is different and feeds different needs. I doubt that one will completely replace the other two, and I, too, have found usefulness in different perspectives for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

I also have three cars. More than one computer, more than one favorite TV show. It's okay to have more than one <said in a calming voice for the people who insist that 'There can be only one!'>.
Thanks! Nice post. I wish, all my Facebook friends would come over to g+! I dont like the way of management on facebook. And twitter isn't the same in germany as in us.
Yes I agree, As much as I did'nt want to, I had to reinstate my Facebook account, I don't know if it's fear of the unknown or the willingness to embrace change and a new learning curve but apart from but a few my Facebook friends are still not using G+. Perhaps they just can't break their Farmville addictions. Personally I just check in to Facebook to catch up on the filthy language and dumb blonde jokes, oh well I'd rather hangout with the grown ups here anyway.
I used Twitter before Google+, I dont like Twitter because the people cant interact. Yes, for one fast new (open-read-close) Twitter is the best, but the information isnt the best in Internet, i think the best is interact with the others. 
I hope that my Fb friends stay on Facebook. I have different interactions with people there.
Interesting thoughts on all three platforms. but i do still see the question of time management. most people don't interact in three different platforms. so google+ has to become more popular then twitter. a hard way.
At this point in time I agree with you and think each one serves their own purpose.
I've still not ever signed up for Facebook, so I can't comment on it; but the thing that Twitter does for me so spectacularly is to combine speed and community.

I can react to events -- from earthquakes and riots to soccer matches or episodes of Project Runway -- in real time, and watch dozens of others all around the world do so with me, in a way that Google+ just cannot, by design, ever match.

Despite all of Google+'s many advantages and features, that will continue to make Twitter a vital resource for me for the foreseeable future.
I will be ready to get rid of Facebook as soon as groups/pages are created in Google+. The lack of groups is one of the big hold ups for people to move here. Circles are not good enough to form communities.
Facebook is too noisy, too many messages that mean nothing. But that is the way Facebook management measures success.
Great post, as usual.

I agree with you for the most part, to me, google+ and twitter are complementary, twitter is used for spot sharing while, as you point out, discussions are much more engaging and organized here on google+. About Facebook. Their vision really freaks me out, and I would gladly avoid using it, but being almost all my personal friends on it, I'm still in. Even though I'd like to use Google+ for that too having much more control on what and with whom I am sharing stuff.
twitter is the internet and instant messaging, google+ is the discussion forum. facebook is where i keep photos of my dog and bearded dragons.
o Bryan
The one problem with G+ is that there are lots of weeds to tangle through. A user could manually create and navigate through circles to retrieve applicable posts, but G+ hardly does anything on its own.

Really, there should be a ranked circle available to everyone that displays the most +1'd posts, and further, the most +1'd comments, like Reddit.
I have a Twitter account but never post on it and rarely read anything on it. I was just never able to get into the whole tweet thing. Facebook used to be my exclusive social networking site until Google+ came along. As time goes on I find myself using Facebook less and less. Like you said, because of family and friends, I'll probably never be totally off of Facebook but I use it mainly for replying to people instead of posting.
I think that if fb adds email to their site, it would help them better compete with g+. Although email isn't a direct feature of g+, the fact that google has it brings alot of ppl to google daily.
I think this pretty much sums it all up. The reasons you've stated here are pretty much the main reasons for me (and probably for anyone) to keep using all three social networks.
Although I do believe Google+ could've "replaced" Facebook if it was launched a couple of years ago, it seems impossible now. Facebook has an immense (satisfied) user base and a current vision which differentiates it even more from other social networks.
Very interesting post. So I guess we won't have the simplicity of settling on one social network - too bad.
I left Facebook months ago but it would take a lot for me to leave Twitter and increasingly LinkedIn. I just think that people will get bored of Facebook and increasingly angry about its lack of respect for users (not just around privacy). In the end, how many real friends do you have? Eventually, the party is going to move on to another house and ultimately, you need your own house to go back to when you're tired of it all.
So do you think that the length of posts on G+ makes it kind of like a feed of blog posts?
Point #2 will go away with time. Wait until brands can join, and that gap will close quickly.
Very good post Robert. I agree with you especially when it comes to seach. Nobody does it better than Google+.
I can say I enjoy myself on G+ way more than I do any of the others. It's the great conversations, feel and layout, and sharing of information that I really find valuable.
"Brevity is the soul of wit." - Shakespeare

I always liked Twitter because it forced me, and all its other users to force as much meaning into 140 characters as possible. It really taught me to focus my message, and made it so I could get exposed to lots of content quickly. Also, much better for mobile use in any context.

I do think you are right, though, and all three services will live on in their niche. +Guy Kawasaki has a very interesting way of describing Twitter and G+/FB roles. Twitter is a "push" medium, where you go push and consume one-way content and find ideas, G+/FB is where you go to get feedback and pull in relevant content for a single idea. Makes sense to me that way :)
About world brands being represented on twitter: Google+ does not yet support organisation pages, let's wait for that to launch, wait several months and make our conclusions then...
I have found the 140 character limit of Twitter to be a good discipline in explaining what something I wrote is about. Otherwise I measure the success of a network by the traffic it generates for me, and the useful data I get from back-and-forth discussions. Twitter wins at the former, Google+ at the latter. Facebook? I send it stuff but don't go there myself. Same with Linkedin.

Between TweetDeck, Google+ and my publisher's own link to Linkedin I can publicize a new story my way -- say what I meant to say -- in about 45 seconds flat. Then go on to something else. And if someone has a Tweet in response or a comment to share, I can respond to that in my own time.
Why should I quit Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or Blogger for G+? It's no monogame relationship with Google. And I read more then one book and have more then one friend for different kind of topics. Facebook = RL friends + family, Twitter = News, G+ = Photographers, science, tech, discussions, contacts all over the world.
Trying to stay out of FB as much as possible. Something is deeply wrong with these guys.
Facebook is how I stay in touch with the extended family. The Groups there provide a reasonably private means of sharing that sort of information.

Twitter, as +Robert Scoble says, provides that instant means of accessing lots of folks around the world, even those with crappy phones.

Google Plus is for accessing a more specific crowd and provides a flexible means of communicating complex ideas as well as simple.

It appears to have no peer for sharing photos among photographers, as well.

So, I concur...I have found a need to use all three. Publish sync and similar extensions help make that easier and more seamless.
I never really got into Twitter - for me it was sprinting through a cocktail party at top speed and trying to keep all the conversations straight in my head. Sure, I could do it, and maybe pick up something useful, but it was too much work for too little return.

Regarding Facebook - I know too many people there, and I don't see any signs of them leaving. So I will peek in from time to time (less and less frequently), but I have stopped posting there, except to post the occasional link to a Google+ thread. (When peeking in, I use my browser's private/anonymous/stealth settings to kill any droppings that FB may leave on the computer.)

At some point, I do intend to leave Facebook entirely, just not sure how soon that will be.
Most of my favorite news sources on Twitter are also on Facebook. I'm guessing they'll also be here, when Google lets them in. And my favorite reader, Flipboard, will also, no doubt, have a G+ option. When that day comes, I'll probably drop Twitter for real. (I'm not posting there anymore already.)
Excellent synopsis. I've been reawakening my Twitter habit recently for some of the reasons you mention. And I'm with you in spirit on Facebook but not in practice.
Why do you drop anything? Because it ceases to be of interest or value to you. If multiple services are of value, great. But how many is too many? I think that's the question Scoble is asking, and the answer will be different for everyone. But ultimately, at some point, you aggregate those answers and get a market response.

Is that at two networks? Three? Four? More? Different for you, different for me, but take us all together and we get some magic number.

Maybe pi. I like pie.
absolutely agree with you 100% +Robert Scoble
Twitter for "flash" news and Google+ for in-depth details - great post
Never used twitter and gave up facebook a couple of weeks ago now I think, g+ is all I need or want.
Just how well do you 'touch' with twitter? Are you not pointing towards larger content most of the time?

I wonder if you would be so bullish on twitter if you were not doing bleeding edge tech stuff? With that being your bread and butter, I think you are a natural fit for twitter. Other industries? Not so much...

I've never been on the twitter bandwagon. I've used it a bit and made a couple of connections, but not much other than that.
Interesting post, +Robert Scoble. For me it's slightly different because I never started with facebook. And am not going to start with it either. Except when facebook has become the last and ONLY social network left and it becomes mandatory to be on it too, heh heh.

Regarding Twitter I am still using it to follow brands and certain persons who are not on G+ (yet). But I do notice that I am hardly posting on it anylonger. My engagement with Twitter has gone down considerably since I became active on G+ !

Still anxiously awaiting the brandpages to become active on G+ and considering how important it is for brands to rank high in Google Search, any brand would be utterly stupid to NOT get their G+ brandpage up ASAP!
+Robert Scoble I am tired of fighting with Facebook for the last 2.5 years to give us some control over our information
I have been looking for an alternative and I am ready to move on. My close family is already here. My best friends too. That makes about 5 out of 60?. I'll keep enticing people to move here through emails. There are too many options these days to communicate and I don't need Facebook. Really the interaction I get from all my friends is minimal. Too much noise in Facebook.
I agree with you that people are just putting up with anything and do not want to make the effort to move, leave the photos, leave the games. But Facebook has to lift their game. They keep destroying things that people built (old groups, pages now losing discussion tabs) putting a lot of effort to create and eventually they will annoy enough people.
The jury still out on Timeline. I think a lot of people will be scared when they see that amount of information all together. Brands will love timeline, individuals I'm not sure.
+Robert Scoble I disagree - for me G+ is no threat to blogging services - in contrary, I just started a new blog for my G+ photos, because there is no possibility to tag my post in G+.
As I can agree with ya +Robert Scoble there maybe being Two Social Networks to float between, I don't think Twitter will be one of them.

Yes, I am on Twitter and will probably use Twitter since its only value is for validation of someone having a Twitter Account to link to as being someone 'Knowing What They Are Doing in The Social Spaces', but over all..not enough people (real people) read or see very many Tweets a person guest would be less than 1% of anyone's Twitter posts are seen by anyone due to the fact that over 20k tweets are posted a minute..over 50% of that is SPAM or unwanted content.

So what is the value of posting Tweets on Twitter when on G+ I am showing over 75% of what I post is seen by the Real People in my circles..and best guest..40% of the Public Circle. As far as I am concerned personally and professionally..response to what I take time to post is the value of being involved on a social network..if nobody is seeing or reading anything I post then why waste the time. I can go down the local bar and buy a round of drinks and get more response than I get from being on Twitter.

I think I can justify putting more energy and time in posting here on G+ than on Twitter.
I couldn't possibly leave Facebook as my non-professional contacts really don't see any value whatsoever in Google+. That said, Google+ is a good resource, though I use it more for learning (sparks feature) than I do for connecting with others. (I still feel Twitter is superior in that regard.)
You're talking about a very small and select group of people who have the time to be active on three separate networks. I suspect the majority of users will move or switch to what they have, but over time there a few universal forces to social networks. One of them being that they have a short half-life (usually less than 10 years) but don't ever completely die off on their own. For example, there are people still on MySpace and ICQ. Every social network I've seen so far builds up rapidly, becomes quite popular and then almost as quickly dies off. It works a lot like popular TV shows. It's very generational, and it'll happen again with the current crop of popular social networks as a new generation of Internet users comes up and older people drop off.
@Twitter works because it is super simple and easy to use, FB/G+ require too much time to manage. IMO
"Twitter's search sucks, especially for posts older than a few months." - Make that "older than a few days", for anything but your own posts, which you can, laboriously (sans search unless you archive them to e.g. FriendFeed), scroll/scan over...

If Twitter had solved the search over an individual user's stream problem at any point during the past 3 years, it would have instantly obviated the need for something like Delicious. But they never did, not to speak of the bigger "Holy Grail" of search over Twitter Lists, asf. #lesigh
Twitter is news, Facebook is home and friends and G+ is work and learn.
+Robert Scoble Yes, but this isn't at all similar to the sort of shared experience that I'm talking about on Twitter. This is a discussion, of a type that twitter could not possibly hope to handle, obviously; but it's comparatively narrow-casted. This is a small(ish) group of people talking about one topic, rather than an arbitrarily large group of people reacting in real time to an ongoing event.

If I were to want to follow along with, say, a Presidential debate, on Twitter, it would be easy -- just find the hashtag and read along, or see what the raging torrent in TweetDeck tosses up on my shores. The entire conversation is in one place, always.

If I wanted to do the same here on G+, how would I go about it? Let's say I find a discussion going on in +Ezra Klein 's stream. That's great. But what about all of the other politicos I follow? Will they all really be in Ezra's comment stream? (Actually, most of them, including Ezra, will be tweeting along on Twittter; but let's just assume that for some reason a lot of them are commenting in real-time on G+ instead). No, they'll be all over the place, and to follow along, I'd have to be checking on dozens of different conversations in dozens of different comment threads, which is ludicrously implausible, even if the G+ web interface were much better than it currently is. This one convo here is already freaking my browser out; to imagine trying to keep up with a dozen different ones in different tabs simultaneously is a scary prospect indeed.
Honestly, I used to get all my news on twitter. But, what's the point? Everyone is reporting the same things at the same time. User interaction and opinions are few, and that's what I value more. I use search to find posts about topics I'm interested in.
Using these networks is about more than just generating comments. And I'm sorry - but the Twitter experience would become much worse if photos were embedded into the timeline. Sorry, the photo icon lets me know there's a photo. I'm willing to bet that anyone who is trying to have one social network win over the other never questioned whether email would replace phone calls or if YouTube would replace TV. They're all unique services that serve their own purpose. You hit the nail on the head of what they do right - but I think that the judgement of Twitter's management is pretty outdated. It would be like still disliking the Vikings because you don't like Brett Favre - even though he's not there anymore. They seem to be moving past the issues.
Google+ can't replace Twitter as long as you are forced to show your real name in public posts. I don't mind that Google has my personal information, I do mind that everything I say on the internet is searchable by anyone at any time.

“Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.”
― Horace
It's true, the fact is as you get older your circle of real friends shrinks to those most important to you. FB connections by their nature are very limited as you have to edit yourself according to what family, relatives, etc will get on your back about. On G+ relationships are based on common interests which opens you up to being exposed to more, with freedom to express yourself without worrying about repercussions family/friends can impose. Twitter is excellent to confirm if that really was an earthquake, instantly.
+Robert Scoble And that is what I love about Google+. I post alot, and am generally very active here, but I refuse to target "Public" for anything I write, just on principle.

Edit: I wrote a longer post that I cancelled, but the only social network I see Google+ really replacing is Linkedin, since that's purely information that you WANT the public to see. I don't have a Facebook account so I don't know what that's all about. Twitter I will keep for random pictures and rants :)
I left Facebook because out of the trifecta, it was the biggest time drain. I could spend hours scrolling through my friends list, watching their lives unfold. forgetting to live my own life. It wasn't healthy for me. With Twitter and Google+ there is a different feel.I can check into either and be on with my day. Facebook for me was a place for gossip and escapism, while Twitter and Google+ are places that provide me with the latest news in the world and let me get on with my life.

Unless there becomes some sort of government requirement for me to get a Facebook account again, I won't. I don't like what a social zombie I become with Facebook in my life.
+Robert Scoble (...and the other advantage that Twitter has with respect to my hypothetical Presidential debate is that in the time it took me to type out that last comment of mine, entire candidacies could have risen to prominence and crashed and burned in the polls. When things keep happening, Twitter will always be the way to go; G+ will be for analysis after the fact. After all, if the structure of events forces short sharp sentences to be the optimal form of communication, it would seem odd to not use the medium devoted to 140-character bursts of thought)
I think it's good to post public on G+ when you start out so others can get an idea of what you're like. Then when you're satisfied with the group you have, being more focused in sharing information is probably a good idea.
its a big battle over here, dangling between 3 networks, one day I like Twitter the most, the other day Facebook, than I realize that G+ looks the coolest, but all tech VIPs are on Twitter, but my family is on Facebook, but my really good tech friends are on Twitter but my old offline friends are all coming together on Facebook, but Arrington doesn't use Facebook much, but G+ have circles, yes, but Facebook have lists and subscriptions...

On top of all that my brother sends me 8MB youtube viral video ATTACHED in a email! I got so pissed so I found the video and send him a link back and forced him to post it on Facebook!

In one word: Nightmare.
I have my public comments being fed to facebook and twitter. As a new business, I am attempting to promote myself through the environments. Here on Google+, I find it much more of a informative place. I do more reading than posting, and enjoy the people here. I am hoping, when they open it up to businesses. I will be able to spread my wings. In the meantime, I am working on upgrading my photography skills and listening to others here. This community is wonderful! I have neglected Facebook and Twitter. with the holidays coming. I need to refocus some of my time.
I Agree, but myself I just don't have the time to jump between the two (I say two because I just don't use FB anymore).
+Robert Scoble Honestly, the wrapping was - by far - the most vital improvement that they've made since launching. The fact that content could not be accurately tracked if it was shared on Twitter was a horrible thing for everybody. Especially traditional news outlets - because empty referral data meant that every other means of sharing looks 10xs better than Twitter. Now, those #s have leveled off... immensely. Other recent changes: photo service, reply to user field on profile, activity stream, among other changes I don't take advantage of. Just the fact that Jack asked for user feedback is 10 miles beyond what Twitter would have ever done 6 months ago. Wipe that grudge off, it doesn't work well.
I am a small user (that is to say, I don't have legions of "friends"/followers/"circlers") thus a small voice in all this but I agree with you that I also cannot let go of facebook, Twitter or G+...they have slowly evolved (for me) and have found respective places in my "social media life" that somehow fit comfortably. This is how I analogize it:

Going to facebook is like visiting a good friend's or a relative's house. I can take my shoes off and be comfy. I personally know all the people there. (I've decided not to go "public"...for now anyway.)

Going to G+ is like visiting a college campus. Many good discussions...many artistic expressions. The air is a bit "rarefied". It's like I can visit the photography club, or the computer club, or the science club...etc and listen to great exchanges. And, theoretically, no one's hiding behind a cloak of anonymity so no cowardly bad-mouthing of others. Also. I have not encountered spam in G+...touch wood! Of course, G+ can replace facebook with nifty use of circles but truth is, most friends and family are in fb and not in G+...and we are all snug there too!

Going to Twitter is like going to the marketplace...most everyone and everything is there...including bots, thieves and malcontents. So this is where I go to feel the pulse of anything...a city, a movement, a game. Information is instantaneous. It's where I'd check first about any event that is happening "live"....Japan earthquake, Arab spring, UK riots, Vancouver riot, busker festival etc. At Twitter, I follow mostly news agencies (thank you for sharing your list!) and use hashtags to find everything else. It is also where I feel comfortable to post inane wisecracks that sometimes I want to release...but wouldn't dare do so in G+!

Sorry for the long comment...
Maybe you want twitter, but no one NEEDS twitter. I've survived without it!
Just today I got idea of cool web / mobile app: Could be called Social Merger, and practically would merge all 3 networks into one but by using some cool algoritham it would filter out repeat posts from same people (comparing links and words) and it would push the one which have most feedback (RT, +, Likes, comments...) Not sure whether this is technically possible but I would love to have it and im ready to pay monthly subscription if its well done. These 3 networks are here to stay and from what I see until now, not so many people are willing to drop any of them.
Stray observation - Google+ is like a stream of blogs - some full-on blog entries, others more Tumblresque. That's why the comments flow in more - people comment on blogs more than they do small snippets of thought. Twitter is a content driver - I use it and open 12 links within a minute. It's what RSS always dreamed to be. Facebook is just... more like a social event or reunion. It's where you go to hang out with people you kinda know - but might not want to hang out with or respect at all.
Skipped twitter. Facebook mainly for people I know in real life. G+ for 'everyone and everything' on the internet.

If the news is monumental, It will trickle to either or very quickly.
+Scott Armstrong Same with me. Family and friends on Facebook. Google+ for more professional discussions. Twitter for a snapshot of current events. 
+Robert Scoble No problem - I was tough on them too, but yet use all three in one form or another. I forgot a really important update though... tweeting photos via SMS. They win on being able to broadcast very simple updates very quickly (and without data).
I think your social networking needs vary greatly by who you are and how you want to interact with others.

If you're +Robert Scoble, or other technology business enthusiasts, I can see why you might need all 3. Someone like me, however, who really just wants to 1) Connect with family and friends, and 2) Communicate about psychological research / tobacco control research issues can easily stop actively using Twitter.

I kept my Twitter account, but am no longer interactive there. I do use it as Robert mentioned - to see quick blurbs about breaking news, but feel the research communication lacks depth due to the character limitations. Google+ has replaced that need for me.

I could drop Facebook if only my friends and family would, but until that time, I'm still there too.
I believe that all three social networks will thrive in the next couple of years. They all have their own niche areas that will help them maintain a solid user base.
No, I'm still on all three and don't see any of them being the "one" solution. 
Robert, I was also very hesitant to accept three different networks. I originally decided to skip Google+. But I'm learning how to integrate all three. I still use Facebook mostly for personal use, but like you I have found that I can distribute information quickly on Twitter and then have a platform for expanding my thoughts on Google+.
The long and short of this matter is that Twitter, Facebook, and G+ are all useful. The InterWeb has "mutual inclusion" woven into its DNA. The only challenge is getting the world to understand that the days of zero-sum-game style business models is just so over.

We can all get along. Yes, we can collectively enjoy the mutual benefits of increased access to Linked Data Objects across a variety of InterWeb accessible Data Spaces (nee. Web Sites) .
Twitter has turned into a link farm. It's just a vehicle for people to lure you to their spam, blogs or press releases. Conversations are painful. As a social network it has failed. As a news network it still reigns. +Robert Scoble you live for news and press releases, that is why you still see value in it.

Me, I am perfectly happy for my news to lob up on Google+ a few minutes later, shared by people of similar interests, with their thoughts and opinions attached, inviting me to participate in a conversation.

I agree with your comments on density though. Google+ needs a list view, one post per line.
That exact list for news organizations, I have had on Facebook for several years now. The content that shows up is absolutely amazing, with the added advantage that, unlike Twitter, the feed includes images and videos at a glance.

Problem is 1) It is not public (not can it ever be, way things are going) 2) As easy as the pages are to find, none of them are verified as FB does not provide this service 3) With the addition of Smart Lists, specialized lists like these will become a thing of the past.

So, even if the potential is there, there is no way to capitalize it.
Twitter's tabloid headlines, G+ is a broadsheet. Facebook is your local paper. No reason we shouldn't continue to have diversity.
I got rid of Facebook, but Twitter is still valuable to me for the exact reason you mentioned, short and simple broad casting
I fully agree with your assessment. I'd drop FB first but it's where my family and friends from the old country are. G+ enables real conversations and Twitter is a great sampling and link broadcasting tool. 
Seems to me the price of Twitter has just gone up! Will it fit better with Google or Facebook? I feel Google want to gain ground more than Facebook and it would easily integrate into the G+ offering. However I think if Google + plays a steady game and grabs ground through evolving their offering Twitter may well slip over time. Will Google wait - I doubt it.
For each their own. I rarely use Google+ but I should do it more often now. Twitter is my news network/online networking tool. Facebook is now my primary network; it used to be Twitter. No one said about Linkedin.
I think the main reason people aren't dropping Facebook is that pretty much everybody is already settled there. The top 2 reasons I hear from my own friends and families that they don't want to even try Google+ is because they're already connected to everybody on Facebook.

Google+ is in dire need of something to get the masses to focus on its service and would want to make the move en masse.
I've pretty much gotten rid of Twitter since G+ came around because many of the people I followed there are here... Facebook will cont to be important I believe until more every day people start using it, as much as I hate it I'm pretty much stuck using it for the time being.
It seems many people do not know how Google Really started. It all started with storing UNET News Groups. Their site was call at the time Dejanews and even today they still own that URL with a re-direct to Google. Google collects, stores and mines Data. Twitter at it's base is far more suited as an addition to Google than Facebook. That being said, from a media Growth outlook, Facebook should be tring to get Twitter... Just saying
At this time, I agree. I can't get rid of The Three. But 3 seems like a good sticky point, nothing to stress about...
Twitter is where you will know what a person really thinks about something. Tweets are either public or private, but you can't choose a group or circle to publish your thoughts--they're just there on a single timeline. On Google+ or Facebook, you don't know what your contact is witholding from you. It's not spontaneous, but almost like a strategic press release.
nice points about twitter. still NONE of my friends are on twitter but on facebook. very few friends on google+. Then, for me twitter is a business challenge, don't think it's good for long lasting relationships. don't find it engaging on a personal level.
I've got a car, a bus pass, a bicycle and walking shoes. I don't see any of them as a replacement for the other. I think you're right, Robert. Each social network has its own strengths, and one does not exclude the other. They are compliments, and we can each choose which ones we want to use and how.
agree with you +Robert Scoble on the lightweight, signal design of Twitter. It's a strength of theirs. Also agree that G+ and FB are different animals. We know what FB is all about. I think G+ has simply way more potential.

Also, if you want to talk to your family and friends, you could call them, or you know, walk in the other room ;)
Just had this discussion with some of my IT folks. I think we're now hitting a new phase where this is no longer a "versus" war but one where all three will coexist (or is that tri-exist).
Twitter will be dead when G+ is open to business and google apps users. For sure
Twitter is a great way of getting the message out...the only problem is no one listens in twitter-space. Broadcast only. Celebrities and personas only. 
+Robert Scoble I can agree with you for the most part. I think alot of it depends on what kind of business you are in and what your goals are for being on social media. If it's news then likely you'll get the quickest results on Twitter. But I'll admit I rarely look at Twitter except to monitor it for my brands. I'm rarely in a conversation with anyone on it as it's not fluid enough. I find all of my news on Facebook and heard about Steve Jobs' death on G+ before I saw it on FB.. I still think for alot G+ will replace Twitter as it's the same concept but with longer posts. On here I can follow people I don't personally know and they don't have to follow me back, but we can still have a conversation. But... With Facebook adding the Subscribe option that throws a whole other wrench into the system in my opinion. Facebook messed up the definition of "friends" for many. Now with the Subscribe option you don't have to become "friends" with people you don't know in person but you can both still keep up with one another's public posts..

So I dunno. I think for the average Joe Facebook is where they are and always will be. For the tech oriented types Google+ is their new home. And for the over connected Twitter.. And I think LinkedIn gets screwed in all of this...
twitter is ok but I dont need it. Facebook is not ok and I dont need it. Google+ is good and I'm using it. We have to get of the train named "we're not surviving without these services". It is dangerous.
I'm still posting to all three services and it can get overwhelming...there's no silver bullet, but I'm definitely liking the engagement on G+ the best. And I couldn't agree more, G+ search rocks.
After my first infatuation with G+ faded, I noticed I tend to mix the three. The balance between them changes, mostly based on engagement levels and content type (personal / techie / etc.) - but none of them ever disappears completely.
Not sure how much longer that'll last though, my bet is I'll end up using what people around me use.
Thanks Robert , I agree with your points. Google+ is the first platform where I have been able to discuss my work , twitter I like it for news broadcasting my tumblr or pinterest posts,but for convo its hard to connect , Facebook , should be called snoops it is really a invasion of privacy ., but i use for a connect for long lost friends and family .
I still use all of them but mostly for different reasons. My FB usage has dropped down to where I mostly just use it as a private email/IM system for friends and family. I never bother with the news feed or any other features anymore.
Can't get rid of Facebook or i would miss a lot of family and friend's events. Don't use Twitter and likely never will. G+ is a wonderful platform for my artistic needs.
Google+ search is a twister
Good points. For those of us immersed in the world of technology (be it for work or personal passion), yes we'll have to keep all three (and more) going. But there are some points worth keeping in mind -- reality check perspectives which I know might ruffle feathers among some here in technology land (ie. Northern California) -- about the mainstream public. I have seen/heard this from friends and acquaintances across quite broad age group (teenagers to senior citizens) of average mainstream people I know across the country, some in some high profile positions even:

-- No Time: Many have busy "real" lives and don't spend the majority of their time in front of a computer... they are busy actually DOING things with family, friends, hobbies, extra curricular activities, travel, cooking, restaurants, etc. Not tweeting about them. They log into FB maybe once a week, if that.

-- No How: Many people barely know how to answer their cell phone and send an email, much less tweet, shout, like or +1

-- No Way: Many cherish their privacy and don't want to spread out their day to day lives on line.

-- No Care: Many have have little to tweet about and figure "Why bother?"

-- No Want: Many aren't great communicators to begin with, thus they aren't interested in social media. They don't see the value in it. Or if they do are intimidated by it.

-- No More: Many are overwhelmed by the shear volume of information being foisted upon them and ultimately shut down. I can't tell you how many stressed out friends (some in the communications business!) I've helped get through that point (since the 90s actually) when they hit the brick wall of information overload. Too many emails, too many reports, Hundreds of TV channels, radio channels, newspapers, magazines, e-zines, newsletters, etc. (This is the point where you might want to put on "Nobody Home" from Pink Floyd's The Wall... )

-- No Order: I have had to deal with clients, customers and even some friends who -- though they mean no ill will by it, they -- are incredibly disorganized. And this impacts even the most basic elements of their lives. On a basic level, some simply don't return phone calls or emails -- you have to call them until you catch them in and light fires under them for any sort of immediate response. So getting them to deal with social media in any meaningful sort of way just isn't reality....

-- No Can: Many work for companies with policies about communicating on social networks. Coupled with the tight job market, people would just as soon not bother if it might possibly jeopardize their jobs.

There are probably some other points along these lines but I think you get the idea.
Twitter comes off as overly simple for some people. Not all of my friends on Facebook are at least 18 years old, so they can't join G+. 
Still using all three of them for exactly the same reasons. If my family and friends were to jump ship over at FB and come over here I could easily dump it but not the opposite.
Once brands appear on Google+, many or most of the brands on Twitter will set up shop here, too. At that point, Twitter will be perfectly dispensable, and you can continue to serve your followers there with auto-posting. Facebook will be a tougher nut to crack.
I don't know if this is a generational thing or not (I'm 47), but I have never felt the need to be on Twitter much. I do have an account, but I do not check it regularly. The only time I use Twitter is if there is a big breaking news story that I want to follow (the last such one was the bombings in India). I'm already juggling Facebook and Google+ and it just feels like too much to juggle all 3. But I feel sometimes as if I am left out of the loop because everything goes to Twitter first (or worse yet, only Twitter.
I generally agree with your assessment, though I think a WP blog is much better in terms of consolidating your posts and making them searchable, etc. G+ is I think very underdone in this area. Maybe with the right combination of new / additional circle features or the like.

The other reason to keep them all is that since G+ is so disrespectful of one's privacy, other forums are needed for some types of discussion.
Short 'n' sweet. Twitter and facebook for me personally are dead. I keep the accounts because it's my job to stay informed. When it comes to features t and fb are chasing g+. Especially when all g services are integrated fb and t will be lagging. Now for the maintenance of three networks. The reason people are resisting the pull of g+ is because they feel it's more than just another social network. We enjoy this kind of geek interaction. Most people are exhausted by it. They want to go online see a funny picture share a joke and logoff. Anything else is work. Unfortunately for them all the cool people are on g+ so they will want to participate and that means making an effort. Also about that vision of fb, g+ is actually executing that as you saw with the dalai lama and desmond tutu. An attack on both the chinese government and traditional media. 
I don't really consume content anywhere else like I do on Google+. I get family news on Facebook, but that is about it. I never really got into Twitter.

For posting, I always write first on G+. Then I post links to my G+ post on FB sometimes. I linked my FB page to Twitter, so I sort of post there, but not at all properly. Sorry Twitter. I'm just not into brevity. I do understand your point about it's usefulness to some people, though.
Very simple: Friends and Family are on Facebook, Celebrities and News are on Twitter. I use G+ for Tech Savvies...
And you are definitely right about the 140 characters, that's why News is good on Twitter, it just gives headlines...

I think Google+ has the tremendous opportunity to take the best out of the 2 giants, and make a 3rd better option, and this could be done with a few huge steps:
1) 2 View Options: Headlines, and Expanded. G+ will ask a Title to each Post, and this will be the headline. Expand it and you can read the full article, but if you don't want, you just quickly scroll through the facts
2) Lure celebritites not on FB or TW to G+. Once the news will say "CELEBRITY X made this big announcement on G+", it will gain traction, and friends will get on G+ just to follow these stars (Kobe Bryant, George Clooney, Justin Timberlake just to name a few...)
3) Push interaction between G+ and Android. Every Android user has a Google Account, you want to push it and make sure that each one of them gives you name and surname and gets on G+, with +1 button every where in the phone stock browser
Ha. These social networks are a complete waste of time. G+ is a glorified blog for IT wannabees. Yawn
Celebs won't be posting themselves on G+ unless it's a chat hour with fans, like what +Mariah Carey did a couple of weeks ago. Twitter is like their SMS to the entire world. It's instant messaging to everyone. In Asia it has almost replaced Yahoo/MSN Messenger when friends want to message one another. People can tweet from their phones, it's simple and they can read everything on it, in public spaces, at home, in the bathroom (LOL!), while on the train, etc. Google+ and FB are too noisy, you need longer time to read the updates, etc.
For me, the problem with G+ is that I need to sign out from my google app company email and sigin on personal gmail. So I'm always off G+ and the friction to post and interact is too high. :-)
I'm a great believer in the idea of the more tools the merrier. We didn't stop sending letters when the telephone was invented. We didn't stop sending email when blogs took off. I don't want FB to become more G+ like and vice versa. I don't want a bland merged non-contextual experience. I want to have a multitude of tools and use the appropriate one for specific content, style, audience, and context.

Or to put it more negatively, there are few people I detest more than the lazy souls who auto-post the same status update across multiple platforms.
It is possible to sign in to both your personal GMail and Google Apps for Domains by enabling Multiple sign-in for your Google account and setting up account switching. Once this is done you can happily have both accounts running in separate tabs.
I honestly never use twitter, though I gave it a try a few months ago; I simply wasn't into the 140 character limit and lack of threaded discussions. Since I'm a college freshman, I don't use linkedin (but I haven't deleted either account just in case I feel the urge to use either later on). I use Facebook because that's where most of my friends and family are, and I use Google+ to get a handle on what is going on in the tech world. I agree with +M Sinclair Stevens that there is no reason that Facebook and Google+ can't coexist. While it would be awesome if everybody would switch over to here, it's not really necessary.

That said, I do have a suggestion for Google+. I can't wait until there are business pages and other pages here. I help run a page on Facebook, and I feel that the content of the page (nanotechnology news) would be far more suited to Google+ than it would be to Facebook.

Finally, there's a goal I have for Google+ and Facebook. I use Gmail, but I know plenty of people who use Yahoo! Mail or MSN or other email services, and just because they aren't on Gmail does not in any way hamper my interaction with them. Though I can chat with the people on Gmail and not with the people on Yahoo or MSN, I can still send them emails with no problem. I would love to see Google+ and Facebook become like email providers in that sense - most places on the web outside of those two sites cater to both, and to most of the internet it doesn't matter which social network you use.

Huh. This post has 1596 characters. I couldn't have typed all this on Twitter. :-P
I think the techies and/or nerds are on Google+. the rest of the mortals are on FB. Their social circles are on FB. The techies social circles may be biased on Google+. the virtual world mirrors the real world. Plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme. there's no way FB is going away. 
Please can you tell me how to use the email on google+ I can't seem to connect to the email under my profile?!!
Twitter is the party...(and instant news events/disasters) Jaiku is the conversation (threaded twitter) Goog+ wants to be jaiku :)
Well said. Twitter is the place I go to for "now" signals. I disagree about Twitter Search though. Search on Twitter has always worked very nicely for me. Of course, I'm one more interested in recent news though. Also, one added portability feature is how well tweets can be managed from the command line. Twitter is VERY command line friendly.
Google + is not dead and will not die. Google+ is just different, VERY different, and will never attract the majority of Facebook users and I think that many of us on Google+ will keep our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts just to keep in touch with all of the people who will not make the switch. But Google+ will succeed and will continue to attract a certain element of the population. Google+ is different because most of the people who come to Google+ come to learn, to share thoughts and ideas, to grow intellectually. and yes maybe to try and make the world a better place. They do not come to gossip or talk about what a miserable morning they are having or how their boyfriend is a jerk. That's what Facebook is for (mostly) and that’s okay because I don’t need that information nor do I want my Google+ stream flooded by it.
for the moment, G+ is just another service of a social media. A perfect place for : cool people (in the North Californian meaning) / tech savvies / geeks / nerds .
Even if all the features are far better than on FB, FB users will stay stuck there because of having their family and friends, an no time/energy/will to incent/have/force them migrate to another service.
Even if all the features are far better than on TW, there can be no comparison when it comes to phone mobility fit.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CLOSE FUTURE ? I personnally consider that G+ will build a tool allowing a twitter-like feature and use (i've read in previous posts the simple idea of selecting ability between post titles only and posts, it's a good strat, but much more can be thought and done). Then twitter will only survive the time everybody migrates.

and I think many more services than social medias will be replaced by G+.
Social bookmarking for example. Take pearltree case : very intuitive and easy to use tool to bookmark and share its bookmarking, like a delicious or stumble upon, but displaying like a optimised mind map, he,nce the name pearltree .
THough this service is not really a block buster, it could have become before G+ times. But it never will because it can't anymore ! UIf it comes to quite nice popularity, G+ dev teams will give the feature, or GG will buy what it has to , and a this feature will come into G+ .

G+ is becoming the one and only. Slowly. But frankly I don't see the limit. Curiously though, I am still super enthousiast ! Even if I feel a bit scared or unsafe with GG knowing every little thing about me, my interactions, my creations, my locations, E-VE-RY-thing, even the smallest detail., I still trust their vision, in which "Don't be Evil" remains a fundamental rule.
I use everything, since people are spread in all kind of social networks, but G+ is my "hub".Actually, I'm getting pretty tired of all this ...
Very interesting post and discussion, many thanks.
G+ great for photo and video sharing very visual, but trending news and topics is poor compared to Twitter
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