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Jeremiah this is the comment I just posted: "I'm rather happy Google+ doesn't have the backing of major brands. I'm finding it to be incredibly useful and stimulating because of the nature of the people involved and do not look forward to its being swamped with marketing related spam and "engagement.""
+Jeremiah Owyang Or Google+ is less than a year old and is building fast while Facebook is already established.
Of course Facebook is going to have more support, coverage, users.

+Dennis D. McDonald I totally agree. Google+ feels more like a really smart forum for ideas and discussions.
In fact I enjoy Google+ so much I got one of those emails from Twitter saying they are missing me.
I would agree. When I ask folks if they are here they usually say yes but they fail to find value within. I agree with folks above about the quality of conversations here. I learn more here than Facebook. Maybe you need both? 
I get far more value in conversation in Google+ compared to Facebook. Also remember, it took quite a while for Twitter and Facebook to build a 100 million user traffic, measured in years. Took 7 months for Google+ to do it. Twitter is a good social network for interest based, however, it has very poor infrastructure to discuss interests with once you find them. Facebook on the other hand, is not really a good interest based social network, and its infrastructure for interest discussion while better than Twitter, remains fundamentally mediocre.
+Laurence Hall I think about returning to Facebook quite often having left it last year due to concerns about spam and its closed nature. The reason for going back to Facebook keeps coming back to me as "Because it's popular and you have to be on Facebook." So far that hasn't been enough reason to go back. Google+ is just too darn interesting.
I think that the "smart kind in the front of the class" is actually a big draw for some of the users. I tend to see self-identified geeks on G+ talking about things in much more depth than is possible on Twitter or FB.

Heck, many of us probably were that kid once upon a time.
Working in PR, I can totally relate to this. People are yet to figure this out and while I am still super happy with the way things are going, I still think that G+ deserves more credit.
Zak, Google's engineering culture is the company's driver. I agree with you.
I think when a social network has too much social marketers, the environment becomes toxic. Seems that is happening on Twitter when every other follower now seems to be a marketer or is trying to market something. There is much more noise and little value. Getting harder and harder to find something who is actually a real person.

As for Facebook, 800 million users and yet an annual revenue less than 5 billion. That's a very poor ratio per user. The problem with Facebook, monetization and socialization are two opposing forces, People are turned off if you try to put ads, you want to put more relevant ads, you need to mine more user data, and you turn off more people with privacy issues.

Personally, I don't really like too much "marketing" in Google+. Nothing hurts a social networking in a growth stage than "marketing". You can't compare a mature, but ossifying social network like Facebook, to a young but very dynamic social network like Google+.
I wouldn't want to be spammed with deals and marketing communications either unless they enhanced my experience on the platform. A platform like G+ offers brands many avenues of engagement.

For example, brand X can have different circles for different types of engagement. If they have a product/technology development circle where users can sign up to be part of a discussion forum, where the company's engineers and product managers can engage with potential or existing customers to get feedback or understand expectations.

Or you can have an circle for new product announcements etc. If a brand sends me all their news through a circle post, I am more likely to subscribe.Because, i can possibly comment on it and express my opinion.

There are many possibilities out there. But like +Jeremiah Owyang says in his post, brands often do not have the resources or desire (because of perception issues) to pursue these avenues of engagement.
A social network is much farther from a buyer's decision point than a search engine or Youtube is. When a person is doing search (especially mobile search) or researching something in Youtube, he or she is already in the process of researching for a buy, and therefore, advertising becomes much more relevant. But when a person comes to Facebook to play Cityville, he or she isn't looking to buy something and is very far back from a decision process.
+Chris Robato I'm not so sure that's an accurate generalization especially when it's possible to generate (manually or automatically) temporary location- or product-oriented "social networks" at the drop of a hat to help with even spur of the moment purchasing decisions: "I'm here in Best Buy and I'm thinking of buying this [takes picture of product package and uploads it to network; software in background recognizes product, retrieves likely influencers, pushes announcement asking for input] -- does anyone have any experience with this?"
Er, since when is a place with 100 million people a wasteland? And how could all those people possibly be Googlers?

Also, somewhat O/T, but I've noticed (gratefully) that there are a lot of Googlers here, participating, responding to feedback, offering help, etc). Did any of that happen on Twitter/Facebook etc. in the early days? Anyone know?
I doubt I will be using a social network to help me make buying decisions. Never did, never planned to, never saw the advantage. A social network will never produce the timely response I will need or the quality answer in the required time span. But a search engine does. Even if a person is seeking specialized knowledge for a buying decision, he or she might find better answers on a tried and true forum than Facebook.
Facebook, for me, has never delivered an engaging experience. Since joining G+ I have been primarily focused here and Twitter. I spend much less time on Twitter now. I have much more engagement with G+ than I ever had with Twitter. I'm not saying that I'm about to join the highest ranks of the Social Media stars but it works for me. I do think that if G+ wants to continue to bring in new users - not just Brands - someone has to deliver a better UI with a focus on IOS and Android. Early adopters, next wave adopters and geeks can accept the current offering but the large numbers need something better.
The thing is that Google+ can act as any of the top social media platforms or a combination of them all... Follow people/brands/interests like Twitter... Post to only your own circles is like FaceBook, check in like FourSquare... I've even stopped using RSS readers as I have found the same companies posting much of the same stuff here on Google+

For those interested in things other than what their friends and family are doing it is already a thriving place to be, you an get information or join in on conversations about nearly any topic at this point. I've seen bicycling, photography is a big one, one guy does only stuff on EverNote, there are even strong Apple and iOS followings here, health and fitness, dieting, pretty much anything you want...

For the FaceBook crowd, many are interested in what their friends and family are doing, who may or may not be on Google+ yet for one reason or another. When that starts happening, and it will because you friends and family have interests other than, well, your friends and family, there will be a massive snowball effect.

I don't fear brands at all, they can't spam me if I don't follow them. There is also the slider control that determines how much stuff from particular circles appear in your stream, it's not Google deciding for you, as FB does. Same reason I don't fear kids/teens coming here either. With Google+ you carve out your corner of the world and whatever is in the rest of the world is of no consequence really...

There are no ads in Google+ as there are in FaceBook. Some argue that it is only a matter of time, but that time may or may not ever come. Google doesn't have to display ads in Google+, they are probably much more interested in using Google+ to better target the ads they show in their other properties. Google Docs has been around for a while and still no ads, as well as many other Google properties. The only places I really see them are in Search and GMail, and it is done in such a way that it isn't really bothersome...

Discovery is easy, I mean it's Google the search engine, with Talk readily available on the left side, Messenger on the phone, Google+ notifications when you are + mentioned, hangouts for video chat, even on mobile, let's not forget Google Voice and of course GMail... Google+ is going far beyond simply being a social platform, they are becoming a productivity and communications platform in which all communication can travel through one of those channels, and in turn they can leverage that information to target ads in the specific products that do have targeted ads... which I think is wonderful it means I get ads and deals about things that interest me and I don't have to sit through ads about things like Maybeline Makeup, which I will never have a use for... but they will shoot those ads and deals over to my wife who is more likely to find value that type of product.

The immediate landscape is but a small step, Google is setting up to be so much more... skynet maybe... Hehehe... And I, for one, welcome our Google overlords... ;-)
+Dennis D. McDonald I'm so with you! I deleted (not deactivated) my facebook about 6 months ago and honestly haven't been happier. + has connected me with some awesome thought leaders that I just stumbled upon (like +Jeremiah Owyang ). #Value
and +Scott Monty who I searched for aggressively at the #NADA conference this past weekend :)
Facebook IPO buzz leaves little room for Google - social media expert care about this, but do users of social network care about this?

Google+ doesn’t have the full backing of brands Well brands care about ads and pages, for users they are just noise. And does not need to make money directly in G+, then can take the knowledge the gain in G+, and use it to make money with ads everywhere else but G+.

Strong growth numbers still dwarfed by Facebook, 16 to 1 - it's not about the number of users, it is about quality of conversation / news feed. Twitter is not loosing to Facebook, because the quality of conversation / news feed is better.
+Scott Monty and +Jeremiah Owyang - I think G+ is thinking WAY beyond network or a platform. And that's why they are struggling with perception problem. People think that they're a social network, and they're not. I think their most powerful asset is the invisible network and data BEHIND what all of us see/use/share. It's their sophisticated methodology/algorithms that they've built to link up other digital assets like mobile, video, display, search, etc.

I'm preaching patience to friends and clients in this space. A year from now, G+ is going to be bigger and better, and whether we know it or not, a bigger part of our lives...
+Tyson Goodridge reminds me of the quote:

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see...
+James Pakele +Tyson Goodridge Or as my good friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes said, "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius."
For me, social marketers have a perception problem on their own thinking their needs are synonymous with social networking users when in fact it is very much the contrary. In fact social network users hate marketers and regard marketing efforts on their time lines as desirable as parasites.
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