Will Google+ Kill Twitter?

When Google+ launched, I knew that comparisons to Facebook are inevitable and many experts would be quick to claim that Google+ will dethrone Facebook as the #1 social network. However, challenging Facebook is no child’s play. The world’s leading social network silenced its critics by announcing that it now has a community of over 750 million users.

Therefore, the attention has now turned to Google+ vs. Twitter debate. Several people have suggested that Twitter should panic over Google+ and how it would eventually make tweets redundant.  Others believe the sudden departure of Co-Founder Biz Stone couldn’t have been timed worse and it’s only going to get worse for Twitter from now on. Several high-profile personalities such as Steve Rubel have said that they are going to de-emphasize Twitter in favor of increased time on Google+.

Of course, there’s no end to such baseless predictions and everybody’s entitled to sharing their viewpoint. IMO, Twitter isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, I don’t even see Google+ as a threat to Twitter.

Real Time

The single most important reason why Google+ won’t kill Twitter is because the latter serves as unparallel source of real time information and news. Though Google+ has grown explosively and is fast approaching 10 million members, most of the updates aren’t really related to news. In contrast, Twitter is unofficially ranked as the #1 global news channel these days.

I admit that Google+ has the capacity to be an information stream like Twitter, but then it lacks the 140 character rule which has emerged as a blessing in disguise for Twitter.

Different Worlds

While Google+ and Twitter are both social networks, they belong to different worlds and cater to different needs. Neicole M. Crepeau sums it up beautifully by mentioning that “Twitter is an information network; Google Plus is a social network.”

IMO, the above statement applies to individuals as well as businesses. Twitter has a no non-sense approach to social media. It’s not as glamorous as Facebook or Google+ but it’s mighty effective. On the other hand, Google+ thrives on the ‘user experience’ – you have circles and hangouts that lead to the ‘wow’ factor.

Social Approach

Twitter and Google+ are two drastically different approaches to social media. While followers are treated with equality in Twitter world, Google+ allows users to build circles for closed user groups. The idea is to disseminate information publicly in Twitter while Google+ thrives on the principle – Don’t tell someone about it if they don’t need to know about it.

What do you think of the Google+ vs. Twitter debate? Do you think that the explosive growth of Google+ will hamper Twitter? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.

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  1. Brad Lovett

    All of the early adopters are predictably on Google Plus and predicting the imminent demise of Facebook and Twitter…even LinkedIn. It’s ridiculous. Millions of people will have to switch over and I don’t see that happening. As far as de-emphasizing Twitter in favor of Google+? Don’t you let your audience decide where your brand is? When they go, go there, but don’t try to be too hip for the room. I’m on G+ (one more profile to update!) but it’s not the Second Coming.

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      I agree with you on that @twitter-30002165:disqus – It’s definitely not the second coming.

      1. Heather Cuthill

        Agreed. It won’t dethrone either Twitter or Facebook, but it has demonstrated a few improvements that FB would do well to consider, such as the circles concept. I think Google + will serve a different purpose than either FB or Twitter. My first thought when I test drove it was that it’s a really powerful tool for brand and product marketing, especially for B2B. I still don’t get that feeling with Facebook, no matter how many FB users there are. There’s room in the market for all three networks, if they play nicely together.

  2. Terrinakamura

    Douglas, I hadn’t imagined G+ vs Twitter as a possibility!

    Lots of people have never tweeted, but have used FB. For them, I see G+
    as a natural progression and something they might find appealing and
    relatively easy to understand.

    To me, G+ is another channel (and from what I can tell, a pretty exciting and fun one) for connecting with people and may even be a way to bolster other social media presence. There are lots of people who had added me on G+ whom I’ve never before seen. Could it lead to cross pollination with Twitter, Empire Avenue or other things?

    The FB interface leaves a lot to be desired, and I’ve had ambivalent feelings about it for quite a long time. So G+ seems to have come along at a great time for me. I would love to be able to altogether walk away from FB!

    It’s been roughly 2 weeks and I still haven’t had a lot of time to thoroughly investigate G+, but each time I check in, I like what I see.

    Thanks for another thought provoking post.


    1. Douglas Idugboe

      Thanks Terri for your always thoughtful comments. G+ has a lot of potential. The greatest challenge I see for G+ is it tries to be everything everyone has already been – be Facebook, Twitter and anything that may be threatening the Google rule of the net. G+ is interesting but the age old comfort zone syndrome would be its greatest challenge. Would people really want to dump their friends on Facebook for G+? And would it displace Twitter as the go-to channel for news? All these we are waiting to see.

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    no. primarily due to the fact that Google + focuses on  video communication, but Twitter is a micro blog. they are quite different.

  4. TwitterThemePark

    I think you are spot on with few things about twitter. It is full of information and so many people use twitter search everyday for news or useful information. I have never heard people using facebook to find information. Plus every social network allows you to integrate other social networks with it. Its allmost like everybody wants you to use other network, from their interface. But twitter does not have anything like that as of now. It will be interesting  to see how things shape up in future. But twitter will continue to co-exist in one way or another.

  5. Saul Fleischman

    G+ is certainly a different flavor @douglasi:twitter  The ability to “circle” people who may never circle (follow and classify) you in return is similar to a Twitter “follow.”  Hence the frequent G+ comparisons with Twitter.

    However, post length, media attachment, and the UI/UX are like a mature Facebook, if you will. I believe that this is what began and will continue to feed the attraction; we have long been ready for a Facebook – in which we can selectively direct updates to limited audiences.  I am eager to see how Google tweaks bandwidth allocation (the “hangouts” don’t work well for me or anyone I know) and also the user interface in the coming months – since I already see simple ways they could make things more clear and readily accessible.

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      It sure is a different flavour @osakasaul:disqus . Its full potential will be fully determined when it finally opens third party API. 

  6. Happy Planet Central

    People use Facebook and Twitter for difference purposes. Businesses use Facebook and Twitter for different purposes. Google+’s approach to social networking is different and could be a welcome social media outlet for small businesses. Especially as Google finds a way to integrate some of its business-friendly services such as Google Places, Google Offers, Google Checkout,  Google Sites, Google Analytics, etc. into Google+.

    1. Paul Tocatlian

      Google+ has a number of welcome features, such as Circles, that makes if easier for people to manage difference groups of personal and work acquaintances. I can also see how, with  time, Google+ will add features small businesses and their customers will be able to benefit from.

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  8. Digital Gutter Space

    Is Google Plus spreading itself too thin?

  9. ManonLeroux

    Nice post Douglas, I tend to agree with the idea that each platform has it’s strength & weaknesses and the bottom line is really about what us (as users) are trying to achieve.  If we are not clear of our goals and strategies to achieve them we will miss the potential that these tools can give us!     

  10. john lewis uk

    There should be comparison between Google + and facebook, but if we talk about twitter, i guess its something different. Although twitter is also included in social media sites but its way of working is entirely different from other sites.

  11. Leo Widrich

    Hi Douglas, great post and very thought-provoking! Love your points on the two completely different worlds. The simplicity and “no non-sense” approach from Twitter is just what makes up the unique experience with it. It is not as shiny as G+ or Facebook, but also hard to compare to them.

    Love thoughts and Buffered the post for sure! 🙂 

  12. Jessica Northey

    Interestingly, since all the “Social Media Experts” have switched over to Google Plus my Twitter stream has cleaned up. I have had way more engagement and have even gained 2 Klout points. I do pay a lot of attention to Social Measurement through other peoples eyes. I usually gauge it by clicks and responses, suffice to say my web traffic is up about 1000% too.

    I don’t know yet what to think of G+. Feedback from Radio/TV/Broadcasting industry types I work with is “why” and it’s just a bunch of Social Media experts selling books and sending out links…honestly, that is their take so far. Some of my higher up media types are even  saying it’s another BUZZ or WAVE.
    I dont know enough yet to make opinion, so I am just gonna keep on Beta’ing it.

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