Google+, very different from Facebook

By Razib Khan | September 15, 2011 12:35 pm

TechCrunch has a post up on the declining public usage of Google+. It’s been several months since I’ve been “using” Google+. I put usage in quotes because I am not a big active poster on twitter, Facebook, or Google+. But I do participate passively a fair amount. At this point for me I can say that Google+ is turning into a very different beast from Facebook. I have 70 people in a circle labeled “Friends,” but well over 700 in another labeled “Internet.” The latter category are those individuals who I basically don’t know, but usually know of me. Recall that I purposely limited the number of individual who I invited to Google+. So I’ve been passive the whole time. At this point I suspect that within ~3-4 months, at current rates, I will have more people in my Google+ circles than who follow me on twitter.

And remember, I raised the funds to defray the cost of a genotyping kit via Google+. That’s worth something. I didn’t get any response on twitter or Facebook. Why? I think because Facebook is strongly biased toward people who I know in real life, not all of whom share my obsession with personal genomics. My twitter followers exhibit a stronger concordance of interests, but still far less than those people who sought me out on Google+.

  • Melissa

    I’d use it a lot more if they had an API so I could post to it from Tweetdeck or a related dashboard app.

    edit: oh, haha Slashdot post under yours in the RSS reader says they have released the API. I’ll be curious if Tweetdeck picks it up considering they are owned by twitter now. If they don’t I might consider switching to another dashboard thingy like Seesmic.

  • pconroy

    I far prefer G+ to Facebook – primarily as there seem to be many more interesting people there, and like you the fact that like-minded people can seek out others and add them is HUGE. Though I have no blog or Twitter account, I’m pleasantly surprised at the number of people who have added me to their circles.


    I’ll probably take a look at this over the weekend.

  • Charles Iliya Krempeaux


    From what I can tell, the API is VERY limited at the moment.

    You can authenticate (using OAuth) and you can read only public posts (but not private posts). There’s no access to anything related to circles in any way (which means you’re not going to know who your friends are to go get their posts). There is no way to see private posts. And there no way to create new posts or comment to other people’s posts.

    Even worse though, this is NOT production ready yet. There is a limit of 1,000 queries per day! A production system will likely do more than that per second.

    P.S., you should get a twitter account :-)

  • benj

    Google+ is already dead. Twitter is a minority social media but it found its use. Most “regular” people don’t use Twitter and have no use in it but it’s good for a niche.
    G+ did not find its niche, it tried to be Facebook, and failed because there is no need for another Facebook.

  • Rachel

    I’m most excited about the Circles feature so far. The Hangouts thing is appealing, but I already essentially do that with a Facebook video chat app, Rounds ( ). I’m interested to see whether gaming will take off too…that would draw a lot of users, especially those mainstream ones (not just us techies who read about this on the blogs).

  • Gordon Wells

    Google+ is better than facebook in part because of what it lacks: not recording and displaying your every interaction with others. In google+ the level of narcissism is a lot closer to healthy. In facebook, even if you go to the trouble to clean up your end, it’s a polluted experience. Facebook and twitter have become the junk foods (super normal stimuli) of social interaction. I like the filtering effect of this difference in google+, hopefully it stays that way.

  • PTH

    @benj: It is *entirely* too early to declare Google+ dead. It only went live two and a half months ago!

  • benj

    Not it’s not. I have over 100 followers and follow myself 400 people. And the feed is empty. Same for everybody I asked around me.
    I have 750 friends on Facebook and it is very very alive.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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