Google Plus Data Liberation And Twitter

I have finally jumped on the bandwagon and joined Google plus, and there are a lot of things to like so far.

It got me thinking though, other than addressing some of the major gripes I have with Facebook and Twitter, what other reason do I have for switching hard stop?

Here’s a quick run down on how I use the following services:

  • Facebook
    • My close friends and family, i.e., people I really know.
  • Twitter
    • A hand-picked list of the most interesting people (writers, designers, developers, entrepreneurs). I tend to be highly engaged with many of these people, so I get a lot of value out of it.

Google Plus could potentially remove the need for me to use two different social networks, as I could very easily put the very same people who are on Facebook and Twitter (who happen to be on Google Plus) into appropriate “Circles.”

With any new social networking service, the most difficult part is giving people a reason to switch. Although Google Buzz was a failure, it’s looking like Google Plus is already starting to see favourable adoption — even while in limited field test mode.

I have a growing list of close friends who have jumped onto Google Plus. Within a very short period of time, the general consensus seems that they like it. In fact, they like not having to deal with complicated and the seemingly ever changing granular privacy settings mess Facebook gives us now. Being able to just drag and drop people into appropriate social “Circles” makes things fun and easy.

Of course I realize the benefits of the brief 140 character limit imposed by Twitter — something I have come to embrace and enjoy. I still believe Twitter’s thinking behind that is ideal, but I care more about accessing everything I have ever written on the service right now.

Data liberation

The way I look at putting all my eggs into one basket with Google Plus is this — the ability to export all of my data out of the service if I ever choose to leave. Right now with Facebook, I can certainly do this — with Twitter there’s really no way to go back and retrieve all of my tweets. Will this ever be addressed in the future? Who knows, and one can only hope that Twitter learns this from Google.

It’s difficult to say how successful Google Plus will be, however my little social experiment right now to try and get most of my close friends from Facebook onto Google Plus is off to a great start. In fact, I’m seeing a complete domino effect as far as adoption is concerned. I’ve been sending out tons of invites, and those friends are sending invites to other people I know as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the majority of people I know on Google Plus within the next month.