Why I’ve ditched Facebook for Google+
To be honest, I’ve never really understood Facebook.
Treating all of your “friends” as equals just doesn’t reflect real life. I like the concept of sharing, but why should my family get the same feed as people I see once a year?
Twitter, on the other hand, makes pretty good sense. It’s not overly personal but instead, offers a way to get news and views quickly and to the point. Still, even Twitter can annoy me. There are some things that really don’t fit within 140 characters. And the concept of a conversation becomes lost in a timeline that waits for no one.
The birth of Google+ seemed like the ideal solution.
I can now post what I want in whatever form I want. Of more importance, I can group my contacts in a way that makes sense to me. The groups are created by me and seen only by me. So while my ex-boss can tell that she’s in one of my circles, she has no idea I’ve placed her in a group called “people never to trust”. That circle obviously gets access to very different material than those in the “trust with your life” circle. And there you have the key to success in our new media world. I keep hearing content is king. I don’t believe that’s quite right. I am a firm believer that control trumps everything. Give the user power and ultimately, your product will come out in front.
When I placed what I dramatically tagged as “my last ever post” on Facebook yesterday, I was inundated with messages from people calling me crazy. Firstly, I’m aware of that. But secondly, I was taking control. No longer would I be subjected to an endless stream of check-ins at coffee shops. No longer would I be worried if I was wearing enough clothes in an after hours photo. Ultimately, I was saying I want to control what I see and what I want you to see.
And yes selfishly, I’d like more to follow suit because it will make my user experience better. At the moment, my Australian stream is a tad sad – in part, the result of Google’s marketing strategy to only release its trial format to a select crowd. Still, I suspect helping me out isn’t going to be a driving force for you too to make the switch. So, here’s a better reason. You’ll get to see a really cool example of engagement. Every morning when I wake, there’s a new update directly from the software engineers. They’re making changes on-the-go in response to feedback from the so-called early adopters. And that feedback, both good and bad, is on full public display. No secrets. We can all learn from that. And by jumping in now, you’ll be an expert by the time they finally give the green light to branded company pages.
Now, I have no commercial interest in promoting Google. In fact, there are many things about Google that really annoy me. Don’t even get me started on my old Nexus phone! But, G+ works in a way Facebook just never did. It doesn’t subscribe to that one size fit all approach.
I have no idea whether Facebook will suffer the same fate as MySpace. What I do know is Facebook needs to evolve in a really big way. Until it does, I’ve jumped ship. That’s the beauty of social media. I can do what I want. It’s worth remembering, that so can you.
- Adam Boland is director of social media and strategy for the Seven Network. He was previously the network’s director of morning TV