5 Reasons Why G+ will win over Twitter


With the launch of G+, there seem to have been a lot of conversations about “What does Mark Zuckerburg (or Facebook) think?”, “Is Google+ better than Facebook?” and “Should you now sell your Facebook shares at 100M?”. These are probably the wrong questions to ask. G+ is not a “Facebook Killer.”

While I acknowledge that Google certainly sees Facebook as one of its top opponents, I would submit that G+ Circles and +1 is more of a flank attack on Facebook’s “unsorted” social graph and “like” system that will be played out over the next several years. Facebook still has an almost unassailable position in two areas: Photos and Games. Furthermore, Facebook has grown and thrived outside the purview of Google’s search. Facebook status updates, activities, likes — can’t and don’t need to be read and indexed by Google. In short, with 72 percent of the US population signed up, Facebook ain’t going away anytime soon and at the very least will be used to tag photos of your friends, lurk on other people’s profiles, and play games. (It’s worth noting, though, that Google has invested in Zynga, which could be interesting for the G+ platform down the road.)

The real battle is between G+ and Twitter.

The similarities between G+ and Twitter are undeniable. Both provide a venue for real-time posts which are open and indexable to the world wide web (as opposed to Facebook which has a closed system). Both are social and are made for potentially viral conversations. Both involve asymmetric relationships which allow power users to quickly and easily gain a mass following.

In fact, if you look at some the design choices Google has made, G+ is actually a “full frontal” assault on Twitter.


Here are 5 reasons why G+ will win over Twitter:

1. G plus Gmail equals One Hundred Million Users. Idealab CEO Bill Gross predicts that Google+ will go from 0 to 100,000,000 users faster than any other service in history. The killer social graph has always been your email list. With 200 million Gmail users, G+ hitting those numbers is a very real possibility. As G+ builds up even more momentum and the digerati start having close to the same amount of followers on Twitter as G+, I think you’ll see a major shift to G+.

2. G+ is Google’s “Real-time” Search Engine. Techcrunch’s Arrington has long argued that the main value of Twitter is its real-time search engine of posts. If Twitter is about broadcasting to large audience, there is no audience larger than the gazillions of people searching on Google. As G+ acquires critical mass, expect Google to create a Google News-type real-time aggregation of G+ posts. If you saw how Google insidiously inserted Google Places into search results above Yelp, Expedia, and Trip Advisor listings (while scraping their reviews) — I could imagine Google beginning to priority index G+ posts or perhaps adding a real-time G+ news box next to a Google results page. G+ could very well be Google’s real-time search engine.

3. Twitter’s 140-Character Limit is Passé. Twitter’s 140-character limit was cute for awhile, but it is limiting to those that want to express themselves (more). That is what gave rise to Tumblr (which G+ will also destroy). With G+, I can freely share my thoughts, photos, and videos within posts; I don’t have to direct my followers to links. Longer posts + rich media in the stream = more comments + more followers.

4. G+ is more personal. G+ is inherently more “social” than my barren Twitter profile (notwithstanding the friendly bird logo). With an elegant and comfortable design and user interface, the G+ user profile feels more personal. Users like to lurk on other people’s profiles, so my bet is that ultimately people will be drawn to this. I never could figure out why Twitter’s profiles were so sparse. And the option to create varying levels of privacy for different circles of friends is a huge step up from Twitter’s tweet protection option. G+’s circles mirror real-life social interactions and allow users to be more personal about what they share and more selective about who they share it with.

5. Hangout & Google Takeover. Hangout is held to be a game changer by many a tech pundit. I can easily see tweens using this feature for hours on end or using it to conduct my next business conference call. However, the real strength of G+ over Twitter, is actually “Google.” As Google further integrates Android, Chrome, Calendar, Picasa, Talk, Youtube and some yet unknown disruptive service into G+ — it will be only a matter of time before it is game over for Twitter. Convenience and accessibility always win.

Of course Google is not infallible, especially when it comes to social. We only have to look at Orkut and Buzz to witness that. But G+ seems to have the pieces in place to make a serious run. And with Google Founder Larry Page back at the helm, we’re inclined to believe that the third time’s a charm. On another note, is it just coincidence that the last remaining Twitter founder left the company the same day Google+ was launched? Just sayin’…

You may G+ here and on Twitter me here.


The opinions of this commentary are solely those of Stephen Liu.

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  • I agree. I was never into Twitter. I Twitted time to time but, I didn’t really get into it like facebook or other social media out there. I twitted because I felt like I’m left out if I don’t. If there’s something more powerful or interesting then Twitter, people will definitely move on to next one. But, I have to admit that Twitter did a great job on branding. Awesome concept with a cute little blue bird. Who wouldn’t like little cute bird. However, a little bird never got me.

    I’m looking forward to see how G+ will transform in next couple month. I have gmail open on my browser all day not like facebook or twitter. Google become part of my skin when I’m in front of computer. I have nothing against Twitter but, in my mind Goggle already win over Twitter at least from my vote. Good luck Twitter!


    July 13, 2011

  • You make some great arguments Steve. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. But I haven’t seen so much tech buzz outside of an Apple product launch in a long time so Google+ is definitely doing something right. Circles definitely gives the user greater control over privacy and reach, but I think it’s the Hangout feature – a group video chat that integrates in YouTube, Google Docs and other Google based products – that’s the game changer.


    July 13, 2011

  • A lot will be written about hangout and other features, but the centricity of circles in the what G+ works makes this both more useful for folks who treat the sharing and lifestreaming as more central to their lives, but also more sticky as users of G+ will not want to recreat all that extra meta information on friends. The question will be whether the creation and management of circles easy, fun, and compelling enough with features rewarded for creating this information to keep me managing my connections.


    July 13, 2011

  • No doubt circles is a great opportunity to regraph your social graph. The question in the long run is will social fatigued users want to go through this work? And yes Mike you bring up a good point about what is the pay off. At the end of the day, Facebook still dominates in photos, games and possibly events.


    July 14, 2011

  • I think the Circles are a key difference that sets G+ apart (and ahead) of FB and Twitter. You can customize your online presence. On FB, you can’t post that drunken photo without worrying about how it’s perceived by your work colleagues on FB, right? But on G+ you just send it to you “Drinking” circle, and you are a-ok. Likewise, another powerful item is the capability to edit posts, after posting. Haven’t tried them yet, but the Hangouts seem interesting, but perhaps a bit limited at only 10 people presently.. we’ll see how that develops (and integrates with gChat?) Nice article Steve, you need to add a (+1) button to your blog!


    July 14, 2011

  • G+ just hit 10 million members today and users are sharing and receiving 1 billion items per day.


    July 14, 2011

  • I like G+ but not as much as Twitter


    July 14, 2011

  • Put me in the “I can’t be bothered” category. I don’t have the time or energy to try and get my contacts to follow me to a new social site or to look for them there. Or, to sort them and categorize and micro-mange them. But then I wouldn’t send drunk pictures to anyone for any reason. SO I guess, not as important to me.


    July 14, 2011

  • i like better Twitter because its simplier and love to use… dont need another SM player like G+ Too much…


    July 15, 2011

  • Great piece!
    But… here’s another factor.

    One of the attractions of Twitter is that it’s a place/space where the thoughts, ideas and humour are paramount. It’s very immediate. Provenance is not necessarily a barrier. It is left to the maturity of the reader to evaluate the content.

    In G+ there is an emphasis on identity. Twitterati might like to search #plusgate . Google are culling what they or vigilantes deem to be ‘fake’ profiles. Without actual examination of paper ID, this would seem an extremely superficial cosmetic exercise. Appearances for appearances sake.

    Will this fixation on the cosmetics of identity exercise a chilling effect?
    Presumably the maintenance of appearances is for the benefit of the insecure amongst us – although some whisper about the NSA.

    Sling Trebuchet

    July 17, 2011

  • Good point to consider.


    July 17, 2011

  • “it’s very immediate” I like that Sling.
    That’s what I see as twitter’s selling point… and the simplicity too.
    Nothing much to bother about..your tweets… your followers and the folks you follow.


    July 18, 2011

  • I finally had a chance to check out the Google+, and to find out how it’s different from other social media channels. After spending two days of goofing off and circling with other people on the site, the differences are all about our PEE PEE :-)

    Twitter: I need to pee pee!
    Facebook: I pee peed!
    Foursquare: I’m pee peeing here!
    Quora: Why am I pee peeing?
    Youtube: Watch this pee pee!
    LinkedIn: I pee pee well
    New myspace: let’s dance while pee peeing!
    Google+: Let’s all pee pee in a circle : HOW AWESOME DO I PEE PEE on Twitter, FB, Foursquare, Quora, youtube, LinkedIn, myspace and Google+

    Elias Shams

    July 24, 2011

  • Super-Duper website! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am bookmarking your feeds also

    Rickie Reinholdt

    August 15, 2011

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