How an emphasis on content makes Google+ better than Facebook

If you were to read any article about Google+ on the web, chances are the article would compare Google+ to Facebook, and call it a failure due to how big the gap in user base is. If you were to ask any random guy on the street about Google+, chances are they wouldn't even know what it is. But if you ask someone who actually uses Google+ on a daily basis what they think of it, I'm confident that they will say it's the best social network there is. That's the problem with many of these "Google+ is dead" articles floating all over the web; they are written by people who don't use the network. How can you ask someone who doesn't use a product what they think of it? It just doesn't make sense. I've given many reasons why I like Google+ more than Facebook but in this post, I'll focus on the real reason why Google+ is better than Facebook - content.

The key difference between Google+ and Facebook is what they focus on. While Facebook focuses on your connections and who you know, Google+ focuses on the content. That was made evident by the latest major update to Google+ which added "Collections", a feature which allows users to categorise their posts into, well, collections. Other users can then choose to follow collections that interest them without actually following the owners of those collections. This is the reason why I spend so much time on Google+ compared to Facebook. On Google+, my stream is filled with content that actually interest me, because I follow people who share common interests. On Facebook, my feed is filled with content I pretty much don't care about. All I see on Facebook is clickbait, spam, advertising, pictures of food, people complaining about life, and people saying they're hungry. On my Google+ stream, I see posts about smartphones, technology, movies, video games, superheroes, science, and football. All things that I'm interested in. When the core of any service is content - and lets face it, all social media revolves around content - what you know is more important than who you know. Following people with similar interests makes a whole lot more sense than following people you know.
This is why Facebook is boring
"But nobody I know uses Google+." That's the most popular excuse people give when asked why they don't give Google+ a try. But as we've already established, content is what Google+ runs on. Browse through the Collections and Communities, follow and join those that interest you, and you're good to go. Your stream will be filled with content that you like. It doesn't matter what you're interested in, there will be Collections and Communities for you. Photography, food, travel, music, arts and crafts, cars, Lego, comic books, Minions, football, even anime. While my personal profile has just over 1500 followers, my "Mobile technology" collection has over 1700 followers, my "The World Wide Web" collection has more than 3000 followers, and my most popular collection, "Android", is on the way to breaking the 10,000 followers milestone. That shows how much Collections has helped with content discovery on Google+. Collections makes sharing and finding content a lot more fun and engaging. Most importantly, it makes joining the social network a lot easier for newcomers.

We can also see how much emphasis Google+ puts on content by how much control is given to users when they post content. For starters, posting links on Google+ gives you the option to choose from any of the images in the article (and on the page itself) to act as your post header. On Facebook, sometimes you can't choose the image you want, other times you're only given a few to choose from, and these include small thumbnails and images that aren't even related to your post. I've chosen not to post links to Facebook several times because of this ridiculous limitation. And after a post is published, Google+ users have much more control over their post compared to Facebook posts, such as disabling comments and reshares. Facebook even truncates titles if they're too long. I've never seen that on Google+. 

There's a common belief that Facebook is the "best" social network because of how many people use it. But as with many things, quality is more important than quantity. Twitter understands this, as it's trying to tie-up deals with media outlets to improve the content of its platform to entice more users to sign-up. Google+ may not have as many users as Facebook (not even remotely close) but believe me, the content you'll find on Google+ is of far greater quality than you'll ever find on Facebook. And that's because the people you will meet and interact with on Google+ are all enthusiastic and passionate about the same things you are. Like Mike Elgan said in an article about how Twitter and Facebook people don't understand Google+, "The reason I like Google+ so much is that I'm very passionate about my interests, and I want to base my social networking around that passion." If you find yourself scrolling aimlessly through your Facebook news feed because there's just nothing there that interests you, give Google+ a try. I'm sure you'll find something (or a few things) you like.


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