Social Question

tom_g's avatar

Google+ users: Will you leave Facebook? If not, why?

Asked by tom_g (16570 points ) July 12th, 2011

Still in invite-only mode (I believe), Google+ is reported to have millions of users already, and the current plan is for it to go public at the end of July (I think).
If you have had a chance to use it, do you plan on migrating from Facebook once you can convince your Facebook people to come along, or is there something else that would keep you from leaving Facebook.

If you don’t plan on leaving Facebook and plan on using Google+ too, what purpose will each one serve?

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33 Answers

Aethelflaed's avatar

I wouldn’t leave Facebook, I’d just post only on G+. But having a Facebook is still great for stalking connecting with those who don’t have a Google+ account.

rebbel's avatar

Can one leave Facebook?
I would without hesitation, i hardly ever use it, i was tricked to get involved in it.
If Google+ is going to be a Facebook clone i will not be part of that too.

nikipedia's avatar

I really doubt it. My experience with g+ so far has been mostly negative. As I understand it, the primary goal is to give you a better experience in terms of privacy, and this is, I think, the worst feature of g+ so far. I can be followed by someone without granting any kind of permission, yet if I want to share something with a friend and their friends it’s impossible. So it is at the same time not private enough, yet also too private.

Also I think circles are completely stupid. If I had any interest in that kind of feature I would be using friend groups on facebook.

tom_g's avatar

@nikipedia – I’m just getting used to this G+ thing, but I think you have the 2 things you mentioned wrong.

“I can be followed by someone without granting any kind of permission”

No. Someone can add you to one of their circles, which is the opposite. If I add you to my “people I don’t really know” circle, I get no more access to any of your info than I had before. However, you now have access to whatever info I am sharing with the “people I don’t really know” circle.

“If I had any interest in that kind of feature I would be using friend groups on facebook.”

I think circles is the biggest thing that G+ has going for it. I don’t have to worry about my separate worlds colliding. People can be in one or more circles. I can use it for exclusive work-related things and share with my “coworker” circle, but also use it for completely inappropriate things as well. Some of my coworkers are also in my “friends” circle, so they get the work-related stuff and some of my personal things.

tom_g's avatar

@rebbel: “If Google+ is going to be a Facebook clone i will not be part of that too.”

So far, they seem to have created something that is not a clone. I’m just concerned that people will have a difficult time understanding all that can be done, so they’ll be left with the existing techie base.

jrpowell's avatar

If anybody needs a Google+ invite send me a PM with your email address.

nikipedia's avatar

@tom_g: The statement I made is in fact correct. When someone follows me, I am not asked if I want that to be happening. I can choose to block that person, but then, even if I make a public post, I cannot restrict that person’s access to it. So basically, if I have a pesky follower (or stalker), I am now unable to ever make public posts. Stupid.

I also do not see how my second statement could have been wrong. Since it was referring to my own preferences. Are you unfamiliar with the option of creating friend groups on facebook?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@nikipedia If you make a public post on Facebook, they can see it. You just don’t know that they’re interested. At least you know on Google+. There’s less privacy on FB. And circles are different than groups – circles are more like lists on Facebook than groups.

nikipedia's avatar

@Aethelflaed, I took ten seconds and restricted my facebook privacy settings so that no one who is not on my friends list can see anything I post, ever.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@nikipedia Good for you. I’m just saying, if it’s a public post, on either site, of course people you aren’t friends with/have in your circles can see it. But if it’s not a public post, then they can’t see it on either site.

nikipedia's avatar

On g+, there is no ability to restrict access to a public post.

On facebook, public posts can be restricted to friends, networks, specific friend groups, etc.

I do not think g+ gets the privacy prize.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@nikipedia Then that’s not a public post if you restrict it. On G+, you choose who to share it with each and every time. Your circles? Extended circles? The family circle? The friends from work that you sometimes get drinks with circle and the friends that like sex jokes, but not the friends you play board games with? Done.

tom_g's avatar

I think Google will have a difficult time having to expkain why more privacy = more privacy based on this discussion. I’m a software developer, and us techies are pretty excited about G+ because it appears to have addressed many of our concerns with existing social networks, such as Facebook. But my grandmother will never be able to use this if the average public can’t figure it out.
My guess is that Facebook may experience a drop in certain populations, but will continue to work for the masses.

tom_g's avatar

@nikipedia – I can’t possibly explain it again other than to say that your statements are not factual. Try it out, or don’t. Read about how it works or don’t.

Plucky's avatar

I’d certainly try it and go from there. I really dislike the lack of real privacy in Facebook.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tom_g Lol. Well, but couldn’t you say the same thing about Facebook? I find FB far more confusing, it’s just been around longer, so there are more people to explain to you how to do things. And when it started in colleges, it was so different, so it’s got a lot of good but now inaccurate buzz.

nikipedia's avatar

@tom_g: I am confused by your response. Is it not apparent that I have been using it, and am not satisfied with it? I have been using it since June 29.

What statement have I made that is not factual?

Response moderated (Spam)
tom_g's avatar

@nikipedia: “What statement have I made that is not factual?”

1. “I can be followed by someone without granting any kind of permission”

No. Someone can add you to one of their circles, which is the opposite. If I add you to my “people I don’t really know” circle, I get no more access to any of your info than I had before. However, you now have access to whatever info I am sharing with the “people I don’t really know” circle.

2. “If I had any interest in that kind of feature I would be using friend groups on facebook.”

I think circles is the biggest thing that G+ has going for it. I don’t have to worry about my separate worlds colliding. People can be in one or more circles. I can use it for exclusive work-related things and share with my “coworker” circle, but also use it for completely inappropriate things as well. Some of my coworkers are also in my “friends” circle, so they get the work-related stuff and some of my personal things.

3. “On g+, there is no ability to restrict access to a public post.”

nonsensical. You are saying that G+ does not provide you the ability to restrict access to a post that you have determined should not have restricted access. ??

4. “On facebook, public posts can be restricted to friends, networks, specific friend groups, etc.
I do not think g+ gets the privacy prize.”

You are using the term “public post” in a way that I can’t even make sense of. From what I am gathering, you are calling a “public post” any post that goes out to an assigned set of people (in this case, your “friends, networks, specific friend groups, etc”). If you claim to have used G+ since June 26th, you should have a basic understanding of circles by now. Please explain.

5. “The statement I made is in fact correct. When someone follows me, I am not asked if I want that to be happening. I can choose to block that person, but then, even if I make a public post, I cannot restrict that person’s access to it. So basically, if I have a pesky follower (or stalker), I am now unable to ever make public posts. Stupid”

You are consistently using Facebook lingo, so either this is just me incorrectly translating what you are trying to say, or your analysis of G+ is in Facebook’s terms and concepts. I’ll translate “when someone follows me” to mean “when someone adds me to their circle”. Correct me if I’m not interpreting this right. I seriously have no idea what you’re talking about. Assuming my translation is correct, we have someone (John Smith) who has decided to add you to his circle called “following”. Ok. Let’s look at the difference between John Smith’s access to your info and my access to your info. The difference == nothing. Zip. Do you know why? Because you have added neither of us to one or more of your circles. We’re shit out of luck if we want to see anything you have shared with any of your circles. So, what is the confusion here? I’m serious.

tom_g's avatar

What I find so puzzling is that the consensus among privacy fanatics and techies is that G+ might allow them to get back into the social media thing again because Facebook was just unacceptable privacy-wise. This is the first argument I have heard that states, “I do not think g+ gets the privacy prize.” While there is no real prize to be had here, have you considered that the only thing that the monster of Google is depending on here is the fact that they revolutionized privacy in a Facebook-like app in a way that will allow people to keep specific data visible to only the people they want. Want to have a coworkers circle? Sure. No problem. They only see the shit you want them to see? Do you have 2 or 3 people who are in the coworkers group who you also are close with? You can also add them to your “friends” circle. Make tons of circles if you want. I have circles for family members who I don’t want knowing too much of my business. I have circles for people who I felt pressured to add to a circle. They see practically nothing.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tom_g Circles for people you felt pressure to add to your circles? That’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?

Plucky's avatar

I feel like I’m going in circles.

Pele's avatar

I’ll only leave facebook if my friends do. Shit, I followed them from myspace. I will go where they go, it’s my online address book and I like to keep in touch. Though I’m not much of a facebooker, I will not lead the pack. Too much effort.

nikipedia's avatar

1. If someone adds me to a circle, including the circle labeled “following” I am never asked for any kind of permission. Thus, this person is “following” me, evidenced by the fact that g+ tells me “X is now following you!”

2. I have stated that I am not interested in this feature. You can tell me that is factually untrue, and you will be patently wrong. Suit yourself.

3. Yes, that is actually exactly what I am saying. I think that even if a post is labeled “public,” people I have blocked should not be able to see it. I do not think that is unreasonable.

4. See (3).

You can disagree with my opinions all you want, but none of these statements are factually untrue. You asked for opinions. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.

5. I am actually using the exact language that g+ has been using. Let me help you by providing a screenshot. When someone adds me to a circle called “following,” I am notified that that person is following me, just as happened in Buzz and Reader. This is actually not a facebook term, as in facebook, it is referred to as “friending.”

The statement that I have repeatedly made is that someone can “follow” me (or, since this is confusing to you, add me to a circle) without my permission. This is factually true. You are correct that this person does not gain information about me, but that is not the problem I am referring to.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@nikipedia So then what is the problem you are referring to? I guess I’m not seeing the difference between someone following you on g+ and someone constantly checking your wall on Facebook, or even following you here on Fluther.

tom_g's avatar

@nikipedia: “1. If someone adds me to a circle, including the circle labeled “following” I am never asked for any kind of permission. Thus, this person is “following” me, evidenced by the fact that g+ tells me “X is now following you!””

Let’s go through this again. This action that person X takes provides no more info to them about you than if they did not “follow” you. If I decide to bookmark your facebook profile page, it doesn’t mean I get any info on you at all. Same goes for this. If by following you mean added to a circle called “following”, then you have to demonstrate what you are talking about.

@nikipedia: “Yes, that is actually exactly what I am saying. I think that even if a post is labeled ‘public,’ people I have blocked should not be able to see it. I do not think that is unreasonable.”

I’m not saying that it is unreasonable. I’m saying that you are stating something that is not logically possible. “I should have the right to be able draw square triangles.”
What does it mean for something to be “public”? If you define something as “public”, you cannot complain that suddenly the public has access to it. If I create a plain html web page that contains my name, address, and credit card information, I should be aware that “public” means “public”. I cannot demand that “public” means “not public”.

With G+, not a single person has access to any of your data that you have not explicitly determined should have access to it. Period. If you are saying that this is not the case, please explain.

@nikipedia: “4. see (3)....[On facebook, public posts can be restricted to friends, networks, specific friend groups, etc.]”

Can you explain to me (it’s a serious question) how to create a “public” post on Facebook? I was under the impression that Facebook was a gated community that required you to specifically add someone as a friend in order for users to see your posts. This != public. You have already done the work you are claiming you are unwilling to do in G+ (configure your circles).

@nikipedia: “I am actually using the exact language that g+ has been using…”

My bad. I apologize. I do think they are shooting themselves for using this type of terminology. Why downplay the power of circles by wrapping it in the limited-functionality language of Facebook?

@nikipedia: “The statement that I have repeatedly made is that someone can “follow” me (or, since this is confusing to you, add me to a circle) without my permission. This is factually true. You are correct that this person does not gain information about me, but that is not the problem I am referring to.”

Well, then what is the problem exactly? If following in this context is completely meaningless, what are we even talking about here?

misscat908's avatar

no I don’t even have a facebook page

TypoKnig's avatar

Google must be paying you well, @tom_g.

I think the problem with the fact that anyone can add you to a circle without your permission is that it feels more stalker-friendly. It makes me have to be more careful instead of putting a line of security between myself and a potential stalker in the form of approval on my end. This is fine for someone who is fastidious about all of the various settings and who can see what, but the average person has shown that s/he is not fastidious in that way.

So what Google+ brings is an exchange in privacy. Facebook keeps my information away from people whose faces I recognize and don’t want near me and puts it in the hands of people I’ve never seen and don’t care about. Google+ keeps my information away from the faceless corporate people who want my demographic information, but makes it easier for me to make a mistake and give my address to the guy trying to kill me. Which is more important?

And the public post option has everything to do with this. On Facebook, a public post defaults to the security level you have set. So if your profile is not set to be open to everyone on the internet, neither is a “public” post. People switching over from Facebook might not realize this and think it just goes out to everyone in their circles, not everyone in the entire world.

Since Google+ is trying to compete with Facebook, it’s on them to foresee and ease the problems that come with switching. Otherwise, people might go back. It doesn’t matter if it’s “reasonable” or not. It’s business. That makes it reasonable for Google to ask what people want and don’t want, regardless of techie enthusiasm.

tom_g's avatar

@TypoKnig: “Google must be paying you well, @tom_g.”

Are you seriously accusing me of being a Google employee? What the fuck?

@TypoKnig: “I think the problem with the fact that anyone can add you to a circle without your permission is that it feels more stalker-friendly.”

Right. Just like those pesky browsers like IE, Firefox, and Chrome that allow people to save bookmarks. Oh, and RSS feeds.

@TypoKnig: “It makes me have to be more careful instead of putting a line of security between myself and a potential stalker in the form of approval on my end.”

Everyone should own their web presence. Take responsibility for what you put out there. All I am saying is that the reason G+ is growing so quickly is because it allows people to own their shit. It allows me to determine exactly what I want you to see and what I don’t want you to see.

The “line of security” you mention is Google+. I really think there is some confusion here.

@TypoKnig: “This is fine for someone who is fastidious about all of the various settings and who can see what, but the average person has shown that s/he is not fastidious in that way.”

You may have a point. You and others here in this thread are sophisticated enough to be able to try use a computer, create a Fluther account, use Facebook, and try G+. If you can’t understand the basic concepts of internet privacy, I shouldn’t expect my grandmother to.

@TypoKnig: “So what Google+ brings is an exchange in privacy. Facebook keeps my information away from people whose faces I recognize and don’t want near me and puts it in the hands of people I’ve never seen and don’t care about. Google+ keeps my information away from the faceless corporate people who want my demographic information, but makes it easier for me to make a mistake and give my address to the guy trying to kill me. Which is more important?”

Huh? Are you saying that the ability for you to create a post that’s shared with “anyone on the web” should be removed because you might actually do this? What about the people that are conscious and want to make these decisions for themselves? What if I want an ‘anyone on the web” stream, my coworker stream, my “good friends” stream, my “ok friends” stream, my “C# user group” streams to me separate and allow people within those worlds to live in one or more circle? This is why G+ appeals to us geeks. We are being treated as adults. I see the concept of “circles” as Google admitting that users are smart enough to be able given the ability to do what they want with this. (note: This could be said about the Android/iOS difference too.)

@TypoKnig: “And the public post option has everything to do with this. On Facebook, a public post defaults to the security level you have set. So if your profile is not set to be open to everyone on the internet, neither is a “public” post. People switching over from Facebook might not realize this and think it just goes out to everyone in their circles, not everyone in the entire world.”

I have to admit that you might be on to something with the public’s ignorance. Maybe this will be a tool for tech geeks and the educated. I’m not sure how to gently introduce more complex topics to the general public. Google is certainly late to the game. They’re probably screwed. I’m not necessarily arguing that Google+ will crush Facebook. There are plenty of reasons that a better product will go unnoticed or unwanted. Apple has also figured out that the public are a bunch of dullards, so they have locked down iOS (I have an iPhone) to the point that you can hardly do anything. They figure that the public will screw themselves if given too much control or too many options. I prefer control and options.

I hope Google doesn’t cave due to misconceptions and public illiteracy. The reason I am liking the concept of G+ is because for years there have been tons of us who didn’t use Facebook for concerns that have (mostly) been addressed by G+.

And what the fuck? Can you keep your conspiracy theory bullshit out of the this thread? Check out the rest of my answers on other threads. I do not just let people say stupid shit. If you come on here talking about how your hairbrush is sending wireless signals to a public hairbrush industry blog, providing hairbrushing times and location, don’t call me a hairbrush industry employee for calling bullshit.

nikipedia's avatar

@tom_g, what is your deal? Why so defensive?

In the course of this conversation, I stated my opinion about some features of g+. You proceeded to tell me that my opinion was factually incorrect (?!) while making repeated factual errors of your own (telling me I’m using facebook language that I’ve explained with pictures and words is no such thing—notice that in your last post to me, which I gave up trying to address, you’ve still said I’m using facebook language where I actually am not).

@TypoKnig shows up and gives a well-reasoned argument, making a casual joke in the process, which you respond to with ”what the fuck?” And then you imply that people who dislike g+ are just too stupid to understand how to use it.

I mean this as a serious question: what is going on? Why are you so closed off to other opinions, and why did you ask for them when you’re so vehemently opposed to hearing them? Is this a stable personality characteristic of yours, or do you have some special bond with g+? What is happening?

tom_g's avatar

@nikipedia – I apologized for my incorrect statements above, yet you repeatedly made incorrect statements without apology. Why defensive? I’m not sure I am being defensive. I have little tolerance for bullshit so I was frustrated. I probably should’ve just let it go.

Regarding the “what the fuck?” comment – I probably should have asked if that “Google must be paying you well” comment was a joke. Is there something in that post that revealed to you that it is a joke?

@nikipedia: ”I mean this as a serious question: what is going on? Why are you so closed off to other opinions, and why did you ask for them when you’re so vehemently opposed to hearing them?”

When opinions are wrapped up in incorrect statements, it’s difficult to tease them apart. I would love different opinions. If you were to describe the way circles works, then say you don’t like that or have any interest, then that is exactly what I was interested in hearing. Rather, I felt that I needed to train someone on how to use a service they supposedly were using since June before then understanding what your opinion/position on it is.

@nikipedia: “Is this a stable personality characteristic of yours, or do you have some special bond with g+? What is happening?”

I have admitted that I have little tolerance for incorrect statements. That is part of my personality. It’s also part of my personality to not take kindly to claims (or jokes?) that I am a Google employee – just for clarifying some huge misconceptions stated on this board.

Special bond with G+? Nope. In fact, I probably won’t even use it much. Get me talking about the Iraq war, operating systems, or coffee and I will have just as little tolerance for incorrect statements. Will I come off as an asshole to some? Maybe. Will I be honest? Yes.

Just to be clear: If someone comes on Fluther, states that the iPhone 4 runs the Android operating system. Then states that s/he dislikes Android, so therefore s/he hates the iPhone 4, I will not let this fly. It’s not that the opinion about hating Android is invalid. Rather, it’s not correct to state that the iPhone 4 runs Android. This is what I am attempting to do in this absurd thread.

Sorry if I offended anyone.

nikipedia's avatar

@tom_g: I know at this point I will never be able to convince you of this, so I am not going continue repeating myself, but I actually never made a factually incorrect statement. I made statements you disagree with (e.g., I would like to be able to block specific users from a public post), but that is not factually incorrect.

By stable personality characteristic, I was referring to your defensiveness and inability to understand other people’s viewpoints.

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