Google+, Facebook, twitter

By Razib Khan | November 26, 2011 2:08 pm

It’s been a while…what’s going on with Google+? I think we can conclude it isn’t a Facebook killer in anything like the medium term.  After moving away from Facebook I started posting again because almost all of my friends in “flesh space” simply don’t use Google+. Rather, Google+ has become a more elaborate extension of my twitter circle. I’ve got over 2,100 who’ve added me to their Google+ circles, and only 1,600 twitter followers. But I don’t do post much on Google+ at this point. For someone with my amount of time and interest two social networks seems optimal in terms of complements. That being said, as many have noted Google+ is more than just a social networking platform. Rather, it has to be understood as an extension of giving your whole suite of Google services an identity, specificity, and personality.

With all that said, Facebook is starting to get a little too busy for my taste. Does anyone else feel the same way? Mark Zuckerberg has known how much to “push it” for years, but my own suspicion is that he has to be very careful of a rapid implosion of usage due to feedback loops if he moves beyond a particular threshold.

Addendum: My various web offerings can be found at Probably most relevant for you is the total feed.

MORE ABOUT: Technology
  • Randall Parker

    My take: My average friend on Facebook is dumber than my average circle member on Google+. I hope the G+ level won’t degrade.

    What I really want: A meta circle that includes all my circles except one or two circles that I rarely (if ever) want to watch. I wonder if G+ supports that yet. So far my need for that is not pressing. But if my G+ list of members grows enough that’ll change.

  • Randall Parker

    BTW, I think Twitter has peaked. But I like the short entries. Quicker to scan.

  • Karen

    Yes, Facebook could be good but it’s become a little too fussy, also the users aren’t as interactive as on Twitter, or Google+ which tend to attract a more proactive crowd.

  • James Harris

    I’ve come up with what I think is a simple way to distinguish between the three main social media sites where you can guess which is which: Thinkers, Gossipers, Linkers

  • No1

    Only people worth knowing nowadays are those who don’t use these. Everyone else is just having the same conversion about the same fleeting trends.

  • Dwight E. Howell

    The people running Google+ and Facebook are both Proctologists. Twitter might be less so.

    Now did I say something that somebody can’t figure out?

  • Carmen

    I think in the long run, Google Plus will be the winner. I like it already much more than Facebook as most other do. When People start to follow their Friends and move to Google Plus, Facebook might be the next Myspace. BTW the Poll on Google Plus vs Facebook says the same. More People like G+

  • AJ Cann

    Remember that most posts on Google+ are shared privately within Circles so cannot be seen publicly. There’s some good science appearing there now, such as this: and this:

  • Shay C.

    Agreed! No way Google is a Facebook killer. I can really understand the intention behind it, but it is a different beast completely. Tons of people have added me to their circles, and I have added most of them back. Would I have accepted their friend requests on Facebook? NO WAY! I add them to my circles because I have no personal photos on G+ and it truly is more like an extension of Twitter.

    But that said, people put a lot of fluff on there. A lot of videos and things that I don’t need to see. And almost NOBODY ever responds to anything I put up there except for the people who I know from other sites. I have tried to comment on stranger’s posts to connect, but it’s just a weird network. “On paper” it sounded good, but I really dislike it. Twitter is far more to my liking. I’m thinking of taking down my G+ profile in the near future as I find it pretty useless.

    Facebook getting a little too busy? Yeah, I can see that, but it still is the best place to congregate with so many of my REAL friends.

    And lastly, seriously, who has TIME for Google+. Not me.

  • Justin Giancola

    I feel the exact same way, minus all the twitter followers.

  • pconroy


    James I think you hit the nail on the head, when you sum up the differences as:

    Thinkers, Gossipers, Linkers

    I use Facebook little today, since the advent of G+, and never used Twitter.

    I find the people and discussions on G+ to be much more interesting, and check FB out once a week or so, to see pics from family and friends and other gossip.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

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


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar