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Mirror Mirror on the Wall, which social network is best to study breaking news on?

Over on Twitter we're having quite a debate. Started with this tweet by Lauren Lockliear:

Which links to this article: 

Which then drew in Anthony De Rosa, who is editor in chief of Circa (a great news app).

Then the debate went crazy. Which system is better than the other for breaking news. 

I say Facebook. He says Twitter. I get where he is coming from.

After all, if you have Twitter scrolling down the screen using either the Twitter app (I use the Mac one) or a good third-party app, like Hootsuite (which is what Anthony uses) then you'll see everything in real time, right? 

OK, let me take a deep breath and unpack several of the issues that came up here (see the original article linked to on this post over on Medium).

POINT ONE: Filters suck, they keep people from seeing the news over on Facebook.

That is both true and not true. On MY screen I'm seeing almost nothing BUT Ferguson discussed. Why? Because I have friended people who bring me great news. I have those people in lists. For instance, I have 534 tech journalists in this list on Facebook: I have a similar list over on Twitter, with 657 tech news folks: So I can compare both all day long.

I also have a list of Major News outlets on Twitter ( ) and I follow a similar news list on Facebook:

You will see news break just as fast on both. 

But the argument is that most news doesn't get through to the main feed. THAT is true, again, sort of. Most posts suck on Facebook (and on Twitter and on Google+ too). 

But lists show all, and in almost real time. Provably so, because I watch how fast things get posted all the time (it's my job to watch, especially in tech industry). 

This is why I did the video last week about why Facebook is running away with the game:

But, let's dig in, because there are advantages to lots of different social networks for different reasons. 

1. You can search for news content. In real time. THIS IS A HUGE win for Twitter, and is one of the reasons I still keep it on my screen all day long.
2. You see all stuff that you follow (on Facebook you have to use lists to see all).
3. No news bias, because no filtering. (Facebook's filters are affected by a wide variety of things, including user behavior, which CAN induce bias).
4. Bias toward being public. On Twitter, the default is public. Yes, you can be private with your account, but most people aren't.

TWITTER/FACEBOOK TIES (not clear wins)
1. Scrolling content. Twitter scrolls, but not on mobile phone. In reality, I just keep a browser window open to Facebook (and another to Google+) and it auto refreshes. Yeah, you could say Twitter is seconds faster, but in reality that doesn't matter unless you are a news hound. Even there, Facebook, on my browsers, has a window over to the right where my friends' content scrolls in real time and that is NOT filtered.

1. Far less noise than Twitter, which makes it more likely to see news that will affect you.
2. Contextual news (I see news about where I live, because Facebook knows where I am. Twitter doesn't try to show me news about where I am.
3. More news for average users. Facebook will bring you news your friends are commenting on, sharing, or liking. So, even if you have five friends (who are active) chances are you'll see the big story of the day (when Robin Williams died I saw the news within seconds on both services, my wife actually saw it on Facebook before I even saw it on Twitter).
4. Better photos and easier to see what articles really have a lot of engagement. Facebook shows numbers of comments. I don't see numbers of replies on Twitter. (Compare how both lists look, that I gave above).

Anyway, let this kick off the great debate. I wrote this post very quickly, so probably missed a whole lot. I'll link to this from both Twitter and Facebook. 

Let the debate begin!

UPDATE: you all know where I stand. I like Facebook better.
Net Neutrality, Algorithmic Filtering and Ferguson
Jim Caruso's profile photoJohn Mark Troyer's profile photoRyan Gunn's profile photoBernd Rubel's profile photo
When it comes to breaking news and live events, I rely on Twitter. That's actually the only time I ever use it.

To actually discuss that news, that happens here on G+.
Facebook and Twitter are good for breaking news, but Google+ is the best place to discuss what is going on, so I agree with +DeAno Jackson. 
Yeah, it's much easier to discuss one post on Facebook. Retweeting is annoying and gets lost in the mix of all the other tweets on your feed.
I only follow things like tech and comedy on Twitter, so that's all I see. On Facebook, all my friends and family love posting and sharing the miserable things that happen around the world, so for me, Facebook is more news.
I agree with you both. I turn to Twitter for the bleeding edge of news, but I turn to Facebook for actual content 10 minutes or so after the news hits. Also, I'm not a big fan of Facebook filtering the content prior to being presented to my feed. This, from my experience, slows down the news to me whereas Twitter explodes instantly.

Then, we come to G+ to discuss is as we used to do in forums. :)
As I mentioned before, on tw I don't have to do any work (you shouldn't have to do any work). I don't have lists on fb or tw. Fb filters my feed, and plain and simple, the algorithm sucks. I want to see everything. I get that on tw. 

Second, it's much easier to share (RT) on tw and to reach a larger audience (all of your followers). If I share on fb, only those friends with the original poster get to see what I shared. Not a very efficient way to spread news. 

Fb is great for social. Friends, family, pictures of babies, etc. That's what I use it for, and I'd argue most do the same. Tw is simply best for news. 
+Robert Scoble To me, discussions on FB and Google+ are more or less the same. The only question is where the engagement happens the most. For me that's here more often than not. For you that tends to be FB. Whatever works, I say.
if you prefer one network, you'll find a way to justify it as the better source either way.
+Robert Scoble but if none of my friends on fb watch the news I do (they don't) then I won't EVER see the news I want to see, unless I make a list. At least on tw I picked a handful of people (2-3 journalists/VIPs in the sectors I'm interested in) plus my friends, and bam, ALL the news via RTs.
When I want breaking news, I go to Twitter. When I want to discuss it, I come over here to Google+ where I can be wordy.

I still interact with almost nobody outside friends and family on Facebook, so I try and avoid it entirely.
For industry specific news Twitter, Facebook for generalist stuff.

I always see breaking industry news on Twitter before FB
I love that you're trying to debate Twitter vs. Facebook on Google.  I have to say that I disagree that Facebook has less noise than Twitter. Maybe in a controlled list -- but I'm not sure that's not the case on Twitter too (e.g. when using search terms).  My "news feed" on Facebook is far noisier than Twitter, thanks to the incessant stream of people taking polls and liking articles from upworthy et. al.

Feedback is definitely better on Facebook (I get information like comment and like counts on OTHER people's posts that I only get on my own posts on Twitter). But I'm not sure if that matters for news.

Where Facebook falls down is in their sorting algorithm.  I was still seeing posts about Robin Williams' death for days after the fact, and if I sorted by "Top Stories" I'd get posts about it at the top that friends had linked to 2 days earlier, with neither likes nor comments (no idea why).
Breaking news comes to FB only as those trending updates on the right hand side of the page. On Twitter. I find out things much more quickly. I usually find things our from Twitter, and deliver my opinions about them on Facebook or G+, depending on how complex they are (complex =G+, more accessible = FB.
Twitter is much better for news because you can fine tune it based on who you follow. The troll situation is out of control, though, so I would say Twitter is best for news feeds, but Google+ is best for starting conversations. Facebook is best for keeping up with your high school friends. 

I have never seen a breaking news story first on Facebook. But, then again, I'm probably holding it wrong. 
+Robert Scoble haha... I'm going to have to remember that comparison from now on when people ask why I use G+. I'm all about the KISS principal in development and life, which is why I enjoy being on here and also why Twitter is generally my go-to platform for news and/or trends.
Personally, I get most of my news updates from both Facebook and Google+. Usually one gets what the other doesn't.

I don't use twitter at all. Never liked it.

The problem with Facebook is that it can be difficult to have a debate or any sort of meaningful interaction because the comment section becomes cluttered with people tagging other people and making no other input other than "wow", "good info", "thnx".

But other than the lack of conversation/debate, Facebook's large audience gets news around faster.
+Robert Scoble Regarding your "list of startups" thing... that's one very obscure and odd fringe case. One most people have no interest in doing. Yet I haven't seen you sell a single feature other than that as why Facebook is better. I'm not really that interested in selling Google+ to anyone, you know it as well as the rest of us here do.

But I think you're looking at a very niche perspective, your personal usage. Nobody else on this earth has a Facebook list of 3,000 startups. And to be honest, I think the Facebook experience is very different for a highly popular individual like yourself than the average user.

To claim Google+ is "losing this game" because it doesn't meet your personal needs, is a hard claim to sell me on.
I actually did a study on this between G+ and Twitter ( ). When a major earthquake hit, I monitored both to see which was faster at getting reliable news out about it first. Twitter won over Google+, but only by less than a minute. Overall both were reliable enough that it didn't matter. I did not include Facebook because in 2011/2012 Facebook was not being used by people as a news source. I believe though that Twitter is much better - the the fact it's feeds are algorithmic pure and easier to view without the influence of account relationships makes it a more trusting resources for reliability. 
+Robert Scoble I guess you'd use shared circles or something. I really don't know; given the way that I use FB I've never used lists at all (FB in my usage is primarily to keep contact with old friends and family). FB has features that G+ lacks and vice versa; doesn't really bother me too much. I use them both, just for different things. The one I use the most is G+.
Depends on my "mode", if I'm just looking for interesting news I'll probably be on Facebook. When I want to be on top of it, I'll be on Twitter
I find the quickness and real time coverage of Twitter to be my go to source for breaking news. I do have to admit I turn to Facebook as well to better verify or obtain better coverage from a more trusted source. I was able to see images as the events were unfolding during the search for the Boston Bombers as well as the riots in Ferguson Missouri.  
Twitter, twitter trends catches my attention on desktop. Facebook's trends don't catch my eyes, the placement should be better IMO
+Robert Scoble But how many people follow or want to follow 40,000 people though? Again, I get why you have the preferences you do, and I respect them, but I don't think they apply to many other people.

Your 3 and 4 points there on circle sharing are definitely very valid.
Jeff S.
I think that bringing a debate about Fb and Twitter on their competition's platform takes away from the credibility of the arguments altogether. Just saying. From my understanding from the comments above that the only real fact is that everyone uses different platforms for different uses so I am not sure you can get a conclusive answer that one is better than another for any specific use. 
+Jeff Lange I don't necessarily want to see breaking news on FB. I follow a ton of journos on Twitter, so my news always comes from sources I respect. I'd like to keep it that way.
+Robert Scoble  I can believe they may have had more thorough coverage, but I'll never believe Facebook was faster. Did you go back and examine the raw twitter feed for the first tweet? Not your feed, the public one? Twitter is so fast, portable, SMS compatible, that it's hard for it not to be first. Plus as I said it's information flow is completely independent of account relationships. YOU may have had the news faster on Facebook than most, especially monitoring lists, but it was still based on your relationships and you have no idea is it was the very first one. Until the very first one of your friends or friend's friend shared, you never saw it. If none of them shared, you were limited to what a formal news service Facebook used did. There is no ability to see the raw public stream of posts totally independent of your relationships. On Twitter I can.
+Robert Scoble The medium is the message, and each of these media are different. You're having an engaged conversation attached to a long-form (and well formatted) post on Google+ linking to an article on Medium (with a large embedded image from the source) debating the differences between Facebook and Twitter. 
If you're not tapped into all of them, you're probably not doing it right.
Tweetdeck, arrange lists or search terms (even advanced and/or narrow). Far superior AND you are the 'algorithm' doing the filtering. Facebook has scale and you can post longer, but the algorithm skews things. PS: Found this on twitter, so there's that.
I can’t believe I’m having this discussion across 3 platforms ! Yes, I said this on Twitter first. 
Robert you are a paid marketing schill.. Ant Derosa is an actual journalist. You need an ego check because your stupid klout and drunken facebook rants don't matter. Ant is right and so are the other REAL journalists on Twitter. Please get over yourself and detox from your own damn kool aid already.
My "lists" on G+ are communities, circles, shared circles, and - regarding news - the Search and explore functions of G+ and for example.

And i can jump into any discussion, even with people i don't know, on profiles and pages i've never seen before. I don't have to worry if the one who shared a news is irritated because we are no "friends" and i don't have to search for the +page of the original source to find an exciting discussion.

But, to answer you question: Twitter. Most of my contacts use their Twitter profile to link to their posts on G+ ;-).
+Robert Scoble you are the best when it comes to having discussion and interaction. Lot of folks with million plus followers, they only post and very little followup interaction/discussion.
My very unscientific opinion is that Twitter's learning algorithm is smarter than Facebook and getting a lot better lately. Should we really have to use lists, groups or hashtags when both networks have so much data about us already? Twitter's main feed surfaces breaking news that I care about without any work. Facebook seems to surface it many hours later, once everyone is talking about it. 
For me, Facebook is where I interact with people I know. I get the major stories there, but also a lot of garbage and misinformation from polarized sources. Facebook's filter could work if my friends were all journalists, but that isn't the case. I have followed some people (and the general technology list when that was available), but it is mixed with a lot of garbage about which Care Bear someone is. However, it is far better in terms of the way conversations are structured around shared content. On Twitter, I follow journalists almost exclusively, so they become the filter by curating on my behalf, in a sense. This isn't to say that Twitter is better, but if you are older than 30 and aren't deeply embedded in the media or technology worlds, this seems to be how things are best partitioned between the services - Facebook for those I know and Twitter for those I don't. 
For me it is Twitter for news that is happening right now and how people are reacting to it. Facebook is for more in depth coverage slightly later and Google + is for conversations (such as these) I do use and have made list on both Twitter and Facebook (some which I stole from +Robert Scoble ).  I do find Facebook filtering a little annoying, just because I like something doesn't mean I want to see it constantly popping up in my news feed.  I am starting to train it so maybe it will start to behave. (why do I feel like I am talking about a bad puppy)  
One great way to avoid being at the whim of filters or networks for communication is a news aggregator.

If news breaks (on Twitter or Facebook) it tends to be quickly posted to Reddit. From there people vote up relevant news rather than relying on an algorithm to determine its relevance. From there anyone can reply or discuss the topic with no network restrictions.

Personally, that's how I get breaking news and discussion. 
Yikes, +Robert Scoble, proof that G+ isn't in the running>>> I got a notification of your G+ mention in my email, it didn't show up on the app, so I went to FB to refind this thread. 
Obama administration looking at internet KILL switch option if issue escalates..  Don't freak out if it happens.
+Robert Scoble Thank you.

Well, personally i prefer the bird's-eye view of the users on G+, i don't necessarily need to discuss topics with journalists or other "experts" of all kind. A lot of people left FB (or switch between FB and G+), because they fled from the people they already knew - friends, relatives, well known journalists. Same opinion, same speech, everytime.

And yes, it's work, on all platforms. A lot of work.
Ok I liked to say that Facebook is really bad when it comes to search, (although I admit I am probably doing it wrong ) Like how do I search for news on Ferguson, Mo on Facebook? 
Okay, +Robert Scoble, I am busted. I did put a lot of work into Twitter, but I put very little work into Twitter now. It's easy to set it and forget it. For breaking news, I don't think about FB. I prefer Twitter, with +Techmeme, +News360 tying for 2nd place. 
I think the answer to this depends on what you're looking for and how you define news. I also think it's important to note that neither Twitter or Facebook care enough to promote Lists which are the best way to focus on news on either platform. 

That being said, many of you bring up the ability to comment better, FB and G+ obviously have the edge because of the limit of 140 on Twitter. That's not something I need for news most of the time. It is useful to dig through comments but generally I get the news I need in Tweets and can follow the breadcrumbs from there.

This is a pretty simple way to understand why Twitter is better by orders of magnitude for news, for me, than anything else. I've created a well curated List for #Ferguson here: (Robert and I agree on the value of Lists, on either platform) on Twitter that cannot be replicated on Facebook because the people on that List do not use Facebook to post updates in real time when they're in the field, shooting photos, shooting video, sharing updates in real-time about breaking news events.

Robert and others may have a different definition of news than I do. I tried using Facebook Lists and it's not fast enough nor are there as good sources there as there are on Twitter.

There are some exceptions for news where Facebook beats Twitter for me: a lot of Egyptian government officials and some other governments in the Middle East tend to post official statements to Facebook before Twitter. In that rare case, and some others, I utilize Facebook. This is the exception, not the norm. For 90% of what I seek, it's going to be on Twitter.
Still not counting Google out, though, Google Now just may reinvent real-time. Already getting pretty interesting... 
Had anyone mentioned the auto hashtag on Google+? I think it is a great mechanism for taking something you see from your circles and immediately turning it into real time breaking news...
Oh and I don't use HootSuite, I use TweetDeck and would say TweetDeck is pretty essential for monitoring news.
+Robert Scoble G+ works completely different now. If you dont clean up your circles regulary and if you don't engage with other users on their content, on their posts and comments, you don't trigger the nodes that influnce what you see in your home stream. Five comments here, five +1 there, two or three HOAs and you have a completely different home stream.
Twitter kind of shows you news based on location, trends can be localized. 
What is this "Google+" people keep talking about?! Is it breaking news? Let me check Facebook...
+Ferdinand Zebua Circles are limited to 500 people and pages, +Robert Scoble's list are significantly bigger. And: you can't modify a circle after the share, you have to share a "new" one. In addition, there's no "preview" that shows the content of the circle, just the profiles inside.
+Aaron Wood Every time I see breaking news on Twitter, I rush to Google+ to post it. I always post a G+ link to the news on my breaking news posts, and my search reveals that the news is already all over G+. Always. 

The problem is that I don't see it on Google+ first because I don't follow people for breaking news. I don't follow breaking news sources because Google+ has a 5000-circles limit, so I've been forced to un-circle breaking news sources in order to accommodate the humans I need to circle. 

I also don't see it because Google removed the self-refreshing stream feature. I used to have G+ auto-updating on my desktop screen all day. Now, you have to click to refresh. 

Google+ would own news by following my three suggestions: 1) open up the 5k circle limit; 2) enable auto-updating streams (or allow third parties to do it); and 3) integrate either Google News (the real one, not some "Sparks" thing) or RSS. 
+Mike Elgan I guess it again depends on how you define news. The people on my #Ferguson Twitter List don't post here and that goes for almost any breaking news situation.

When I say news, I'm not just talking about people posting links to their articles, I'm talking about the type of on-the-ground live updates I get with Twitter for a breaking news situation like Ferguson.

If you could point me to a good Ferguson list on G+, I would be happy to give it a shot though.
+Robert Scoble found this over on your FB post, fyi.
For breaking news and real-time updates: Twitter FTW.
For discussions ABOUT those things, at more length and with more emotive content: FB
I view G+ a networking and forum-like platform with some search, ads, and of course, the data-gathering thrown in, which i don't care about in my day-to-day life, plus it's way too verbose, cumbersome, and downright wonky over here, especially lately. Citing +Liza Sperling and +Mike Elgan examples in this thread... G+ has tried for 3 years....obviously not winning the social space. but, i digress. :-)
+Robert Scoble +Jake Weisz maybe you should think about how much you can really engage with 40,000 people. You can broadcast to 40,000 people, but not have conversations with them, unless that's the only thing you ever do, and even then, only if you never sleep (which I know you don't, Robert :)

I'm much more interested in engaging with 100 people who I actually know and care about and can meet with face-to-face in G+ Hangouts.

I am very careful about who I follow on G+ and Twitter, and use each for different reasons.

Where Google+ wins for me is Hangouts, and neither Facebook or Twitter has anything that even comes close.
+Anthony De Rosa _"When I say news, I'm not just talking about people posting links to their articles, I'm talking about the type of on-the-ground live updates I get with Twitter for a breaking news situation like Ferguson."_  I absolutely agree!
+Robert Scoble Just joshing you Robert. I love when you get all fired up and carry on like this. So there
This argument is like the argument over cameras. You can argue the merits of Nikon over Canon until the cows come home, but in the end the best is the camera phone you have with  you which for all but the 0.1% is none of them because the guy behind the counter at McDonalds would get fired for looking at his phone except at break, at which time he's busy getting a drink and texting his friends.
Maya B
Dayumn this argument is hardcore 😂
I have never used Facebook for news (didn't even know there was a list feature) but I totally agree about Twitter getting cluttered. It's one of things I hate 
Y Beeds
Twitter doesn't limit someone's followers from see ALL of their tweets, while Facebook only shows a portion of someone's posts based on activity. Twitter can easily be followed via text messaging, while Facebook can't. That would make Twitter the got to, for Breaking News. 

But in general I like Facebook more.
Robert Scoble you just crushed Facebook with your comments. 534 tech journalists? They are friends? Don't they drown out what is happening with your real friends,? . And does it take 534 journalists before you can get news relevsnt to you,? Do this limit you in th. Number of topics you can get real news from?

Twitter is where the raw stuff happens #fosh  +Anthony De Rosa and it's what most major newsrooms are glued to ..they have curated/crafted it to get pieces and contacts. Usually if they find good statements/sources ..that leads them to people and more in order to write the stories that others will read/share later on all networks. I think the raw stuff is more fun for everyone to find but it depends upon how much work you want to do, to add up pieces. Reddit is a great source but can be way trickier to track down sources there, depending upon your setup. I'd love to see Google News plugged into G+ and for others to notice that Google News is taking G+ sources and placing some there.. it just needs to get better at doing so, more noticeable too. The 140 characters work well for headlines / statements to get info out there FAST. I think all the sites might break news at around the same time, but details tend to come together faster through tweets. FB is missing the search needed to find that info and like Anthony said, people aren't posting to FB in that style, most likely not G+ either. Also, I feel like people don't mind multiple tweets updating you on a story, event or other ..whereas seeing a source do the same over and over again on G+ or FB might annoy.. depending upon what the breaking news is maybe. 

As far as this entire experience tonight, I enjoy that the conversation and chatting is happening across at least 3 networks with a huge mixed audience. This crossover imo is when social is working at its best. Today someone might say "xyz story" crushed or killed on Facebook.. but nobody cared for it on Twitter, G+, Pinterest, LinkedIn or anywhere else.. which always makes my BS FB ALGOrithm detector go up .. as in FB decided way more people should see that story in most cases. I say prefer a network all you want but be open to all of them.. [insert new myspace joke here as in it has a music player..that's useful] 
Timeline based news from any source always compete with your other interests.

If the news is important, it will find u from one of the many media outlets we use.

. But it doesn't matter who is first. The real question is where you go to look for substance. I go to Twitter. I follow a variety of outlets and can pick which I think has the most depth of reporting. I trust they will post a link on Twitter

Even if they post on Facebook I have no idea if I will see it and I can't easily search to find it 
I believe Google Search and G+ will only continue to improve +Mark Cuban..making it a better place to find news AND have conversations. I've always said Google+ is a major combination of social sites, even Twitter & FB combined. It's not there yet but I'm open to having an HOA with you & +Robert Scoble to discuss Social Media, Algorithms, Interests, how people digest their content, etc. 

+Mike Elgan  and +Anthony De Rosa would be great to have on that live stream panel too. 
Look at +matthew rappaport workin' his magic. ;) Get me on that HOA too. You all need a good pessimistic contrarian to balance things out.
+Mark Cuban am rereading your +Robert Scoble comment on real friends - you made me think. I can't speak for Scoble, but my online friends are increasingly my real friends. That may explain why "real friend" networks (ie FB) feel somewhat foreign, while Twitter and G+ feel just right. 
+Robert Scoble me too a Facebook guy, I spent a week of my life on Twitter. It made me even more unproductive than my current levels :v
And all of this because there's no filtering system. After 3 days of usage I felt an information overload happening with me.
After this small social media experiment I didn't use any social media for 2 days just to gain back my sense of normalcy :P :D
BTW pretty interesting discussion going on here, it's just a matter of time before hardcore Internet trolls join these :v
+Robert Scoble Facebook is a medium if I have to break some news. My tweet gets buried in timeline very fast compared to facebook. Google+ I rarely visit
Great arguments here rolling back and forth!
I agree with Twitter running the news very fast. And, yes, mostly there are news about it already on G+.
FB? It's for family stuff and so on, totally messed up, can't find anything... ;-)
I really would like to follow your discussion in hangout if ever running +matthew rappaport and +Liza Sperling :-)
I'm a journalist and quite simply for breaking news - Twitter is the only social network that matters. Hands down. It's immediate, you can search/hashtag and enough people that matter use it.

I use Facebook to get a 'feel' for how other people think/feel about the breaking news. But the search/hashtag feature is terrible/not used and you have to sort through a lot more noise of peoples opinions and other rubbish.

And sadly, there simply isn't enough news or analysis on Google+ for it to matter (unless it's about tech news!). I want to try and help fill the void in this space but it seems the interest simply isn't there... but because G+ is searchable/SEO/hashtag/comments/etc - it should be perfect. I think the real problem is that simply not enough people use it. Even the big news organisations like BBC don't put much effort into their G+ stuff.

That's for breaking news... if you want a proper discussion - then I would not recommend Twitter. Facebook and G+ allow for more engagement... for example my posts on G+ have lots of interesting engagement and comments... which is why I'm on here!
+Robert Scoble why did you bring Klout into it when you know it wholely ignores signals from G+? How can you hold that to be an accurate measurement of anything?
+Robert Scoble twitter for breaking news and sports (using list and hash tags).  On tweekdeck I use the engagement filter to reduce to amount of clutter..

The FB and G+ news feeds filter out too much; effectively I see less breaking news on FB and G+. They however  provide me with more relevant information. 2 cents. 
one edge g+ has over twitter and fb is that google recommends interesting posts to you based on your browsing pattern. i'm constantly amazed by how good the recommendations are and they keep getting better. 
Twitter. My son was in Japan during the big earthquake and I found out via Twitter as I landed in Austin for SXSW. I was able to contact him, learn he was fine, and update his mom before she woke up and heard the news.
Nobody seems to have brought up search yet - Twitter search is great now; I used it for all sorts of Ferguson-related news this week. FB kept wanting to send me to the pages of Ferguson, MO or people named Ferguson and when I look at the #Ferguson  hashtag today, Robert's post is the top one and "Happening Now" from 22 hours ago is the second. I can't figure out how to order FB search results by Most Recent. They almost seem to be searching alternate universes.  Also Robert's the only person I've ever heard of who uses FB Lists. I'm afraid realtime news-gathering goes to Twitter.
My problem with Facebook is definitely the filters, specifically the sorting. My news feed when I looked this evening: post 7 hours ago, post 43 minutes ago, post Friday 9:43pm, post 13 minutes ago, post 5 hours ago... Etc, etc. The sort by their assumed what I'll find important kills it's value as a news feed. The Friday one in spot 3 freaked me out momentarily, breaking news about shots fired in Ferguson, police moving in again. Old news today, but with it at the top, I assumed it was a current article. Useless.