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Twitter & Google+ strengths

If you’ve noticed, I started using Twitter a lot more recently. I wrote about the main differences between Twitter and Google+ a month ago (https://goo.gl/ypRrGs), and now I’m going to highlight the best things I like about each platform.

Twitter

It’s so easy to tweet
There are several reasons why I feel like it’s so easy to tweet. The first is the 140-character limit. Though it may seem like a hindrance, this limit actually makes it a lot easier to post content since you don’t need to think too much about what to write. Just a few seconds of typing and you’re done. It also helps that the official Twitter app for Android supports app shortcuts, so I can just long press on the Twitter icon on my homescreen and select the “New tweet” option to go straight into the compose screen. If that wasn’t enough, Twitter also allows you to save drafts of your tweets, so you can start composing a tweet but come back to it later, or you can save several tweets and post them whenever you are ready.

Much more content to consume
I think many other people feel the same way about my previous point as well. There’s a lot of content on Twitter. It’s the reason why I spend more time browsing Twitter than I do G+ nowadays. Not only is there more content, but I find it more varied as well. As a bonus point, the extremely prevalent usage of hashtags on Twitter also helps with content discovery, as trending hashtags give you an insight into what’s trending at the moment, and it introduces you to relevant posts by people you don’t follow, which broadens the scope of content available to you.

Replies are tweets
One thing about Twitter that I think is really smart is that when you reply to a tweet, your reply is in itself a tweet as well. That means whatever you can do to a tweet, you can do to a reply too. Being able to like and respond to a comment is common in social media, but on Twitter you can also retweet a reply, something I don’t think other social networks have. On G+ for example, if I like somebody’s reply on a post and wanted to share it, I would need to take a screenshot of it and attach it to my own post. I would probably need to copy a link to the original post as well so people can view it for context. But on Twitter when I like somebody’s reply to a tweet, I can actually just retweet that reply, and people can click on it to easily see the original tweet. Really smart, and I like it.

Two-tier sharing
Speaking of retweeting, another thing which is lost when resharing posts on social media is the input of the first “resharer”. If someone reshares a post and adds his/her own input, it could be that the extra input adds valuable perspective to the original post. Valuable perspective that you would then like to reshare. But if you hit the reshare button, it will only reshare the original post, not the reshare with that added input. On Twitter though, retweeting can go up to two tiers. What that means is if someone retweets a tweet and adds their own input, I can then retweet the retweet, which will include both the original tweet and the retweet as well. That wasn’t confusing, was it?

Tweet impressions
Since Twitter is such a “vocal” platform where people share their thoughts on various issues every single day, it makes sense to want to know just how far your tweets reach out to people. This is why Twitter has this tool which lets you see the activity of each of your tweets. You can see how many views it has, how many likes, how many times people visited your profile from the tweet, and how many times people click on links from your tweet. Very useful information, and the numbers update live too as you’re looking at them, which is really cool.

Google+

More in depth posts
If you’ve been following me on G+ for a while, you’ll notice I tend to write lengthy and in-depth posts from time to time. In the past I used to write in my personal blogs, but the interaction I used to get was minimal, and it was hard to drive traffic to my blog. G+ gives me a platform to write on, and I get much more interaction here than I used to on my blog, and that’s why I stopped blogging and just moved my writing here.

Text formatting
As I like to write in-depth posts, being able to format text is crucial. Titles and emphasis is characterised with bold text while special words are Italicised. It gives my posts structure, and without them my posts would appear very plain or disorganised.

Collections
One of the absolute best features of G+ is Collections. Being able to categorise your posts makes it easier for your followers (and newcomers) to get content that they like while avoiding posts that don’t interest them. Instead of following people, and seeing all their posts across a range of topics, some of which just don’t interest you, you can follow numerous Collections from different people that all fit your interests. Your feed will be filled with posts from Collections you follow, not people you follow.

Photos from phone
I’m not sure if this is a G+ feature, a Google Photos feature, or an Android feature, but I love how the photos I take on my phone are available to me when I compose a post from my PC/Chromebook. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to write lengthy posts on occasion, and when I do it’s not on my phone, but from the web. So if I have a photo that I took on my phone that I want to attach to my post, it’s great that the photo is already there in the image picker on the web, without me needing to do any transferring of any kind.

Dynamic web layout
I think G+ is the only social network which has a dynamic layout. What that means is depending on the resolution/size of your display, you could see three columns of posts, or two. One is also an option if you choose so. This makes browsing G+ on the web so much better since all that screen real estate is filled with content, rather than empty white space. Or worse, ads.

I love using both G+ and Twitter as they each have their own strengths. However, recently I've found myself using Twitter a lot more. Not just browsing more, but actively posting more to Twitter as well. I'll have another post up in a few weeks to explain why, so keep an eye out for that if you're interested.

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Notifications on G+ are broken, again. I'm already liking Twitter more than G+, and this kind on thing isn't helping. Things break so often around here it's discouraging.
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Being able to thread tweets is really cool. Means you can update (or add to) information from previous tweets with a new tweet, and both tweets will show up in your followers' timelines. On G+ if I were to update (edit) an old post with new information, it won't show up again in my followers' feeds. I could write a completely new post and link to my original post (which is something I always do), but that would require people to click on a link. Threaded tweets is a much better solution.

It's also good for writing a series of related tweets which are posted at different times. As an example, in celebration of Malaysia's 60th Independence Day I've tweeted something unique about Malaysia since August 1st, and will continue to do so until August 31st [1]. I thread the tweets so whenever somebody comes across one tweet, they will be able to see all threaded tweets. Can't so something like that on G+.

[1] https://twitter.com/JazliAziz/status/892184475496357888
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Why I now post more to Twitter

I’ve written a lot about Twitter in recent weeks. My latest post [1] highlighted what I like most about Twitter, as well as Google+. However, even though both platforms have their advantages, I’ve found myself spending more and more time on Twitter compared to Google+, and I don’t mean just browsing. I find myself tweeting a lot more than I post on Google+ too. This shift in behaviour for me wasn’t what I intended when I first started using Twitter. Back then, I was just planning on using Twitter as a news feed [2], but the more I used it to consume content the more I tweeted as well. These are the reasons why I now prefer to tweet compared to posting on Google+.

More content to share
Twitter is a great place for information dissemination. There’s so much information on the network that I find myself retweeting quite often. Google+ is mostly a place for in-depth or critical posts, at least that’s how I use it. It’s not really a place where you spam reshares to spread information. Twitter on the other hand, is all about spreading information. It’s a positive feedback loop. There’s a lot of information on Twitter, people retweet it, which spreads it even further, and more people retweet it, and the cycle continues.

Twitter is the "voice" of the internet
I’ve noticed that when it comes to being heard on the internet, Twitter is a much better platform than Google+. It’s common now to see authors/journalists collect tweets to add to their articles to show people’s thoughts and reactions on the subject of their article. I myself had a tweet featured in an article that reported on the song Despacito being banned in Malaysia [3]. More recently, I had two of my tweets featured by a popular Malaysian website on their Facebook page [4]. I may have a lot more followers on Google+ compared to Twitter, but my tweets clearly have the potential to reach a wider audience.

It’s easier
I’ve touched on this in a previous post, but tweeting is just a lot easier than posting to Google+. Tweets are short thanks to the 140 character limit, so it doesn’t take a long time for me to compose a tweet. The Android app has app shortcuts, so from the homescreen I just long press on the Twitter app icon, select “New Tweet”, and I can compose my tweet. The Twitter app also lets me save drafts, so I can store a bunch of tweets that I’m not ready to post yet and post them later when I am.

Google+ interaction is down the drain
This is something you probably noticed if you spend a lot of time on Google+, more so if you have many followers like I do. Spam is rampant on Google+, has been for months now, and even though it is getting slightly better, the amount of high quality interaction that I’ve seen in previous years just isn’t there any longer. I get significantly more interactions from Google+ than I do Twitter, but my Twitter interactions tend to be more meaningful to me. A large part of that interaction is down to the fact that many major brands and products utilise Twitter instead of Google+. Uber Malaysia, Google Photos, HTC Malaysia, Spotify Malaysia, Maybank and CIMB bank, Nokia, even some YouTubers I follow have all interacted with me via Twitter. I’ve also had some random discussions with people on a Rotten Tomatoes post, interacted with fans of Northgard (a video game), as well as a few discussions about mobile tech. All without spam getting in the way.

A stronger Malaysian presence
Before I started using Twitter, I still had to use Facebook due to the fact that Google+ doesn’t have a lot of local content. Since using Twitter though, I’ve found myself using Facebook even less, to the point where I go several days without ever opening Facebook. On the odd day that I do, it’s just for about a minute before I’m off again. There’s a lot of local content on Twitter from local websites, and a lot of interaction from Malaysians as well. I do get some interaction on Google+ from other Malaysians, but Twitter is still better in this regard.

I’ve been a heavy Google+ user over the past few years, and while I still enjoy posting my more critical thoughts about mobile tech here, for all my other interests I pretty much just post to Twitter now. Even when it comes to mobile tech, if it’s a quick reshare with no significant input from me, it goes to Twitter. So if you enjoy my content here and actively use Twitter, you’ll find much more of my content there than you will here. I never thought this day would come, but Google+ is no longer my main social network.

[1] https://plus.google.com/+JazliAziz/posts/gVM7FbvmdEB
[2] https://plus.google.com/+JazliAziz/posts/UTmZz5sWwXW
[3] http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/20/media/malaysia-ban-despacito-state-media/index.html?sr=fbCNN072017malaysia-ban-despacito-state-media0104PMStory
[4] https://www.facebook.com/saysdotcom/posts/1451544631549434
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I recently posted my 1000th tweet, and now I've reached another milestone. 100 followers!
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Any Medium users here? Do you write? Read? Both? What are your thoughts on the platform?
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I'm not a heavy emoji user, but Twitter knows that there are many people who are, so they have a built-in emoji picker on the web, which is smart. Also, with Twitter's 140 character limit, emoji can help replace words to keep your tweet within the limit.
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I hate when people post spoilers on social media. A long time ago a friend posted that Scofield dies in Prison Break, and I was absolutely livid. I do my best to avoid spoilers online nowadays, and it's great that Twitter allows you to mute certain words to accomplish that (among other things).

PS: My grandma who is also watching Masterchef Australia wasn't so lucky. Her friend posted on FB who won and she got very upset.
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1000 Tweets

I just passed the 1000 tweet mark on Twitter in just two months. Really surprised I tweeted that much in such a short amount of time. But as I mentioned in a previous post [1], even replies are considered as tweets, so that contributes to the number.

As I've said a few times now, I'm tweeting a lot more than I post to G+ nowadays. I'll have a write-up to explain why that is in a week or two, but in the meantime if you enjoy my content here on G+, you can get a lot more of it over on Twitter - https://twitter.com/JazliAziz

[1] https://plus.google.com/+JazliAziz/posts/gVM7FbvmdEB
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Hmmmmmmmm
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