Google+, Day 24: Is Google+ a More Engaging Social Network?

30 Days With Google+: Day 24

Google+ has many unique aspects and features that set it apart (at least for now) from competing social networks. Where the rubber meets the road, though, a social network is all about being social, so the question boils down to whether or not Google+ fosters a more social environment than its rivals.

I have done a few posts over the past few days across all three of my social networks: Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. It is interesting to look at what sort of response each received, and how the different platforms facilitate (or not) ongoing discussion on the subject.

The point of a
Google+ vs. Facebook vs. Twitter

First, let's put the size of the different audiences in some perspective. On Google+ there are just over 900 people who have me in Circles. On Facebook I have about 500 'Friends'. I have just over 16,000 followers on Twitter.

All else being equal, I guess I should expect to have the least interaction and engagement on Google+, with about twice as much on Facebook, and roughly 16 times more response on Twitter. The reality doesn't play out in such a linear fashion, though.

I posted a simple poll across all three asking people to choose their favorite cartoon among Rugrats, Fairly OddParents, and Phineas & Ferb (I was looking for cartoons that kids love, but that are also entertaining on some level for adults).

Facebook was an utter fail. I posted it to my personal Facebook profile instead of my Facebook Page, so the audience was only 500 instead of the 2,000 on my Facebook Page. I got zero response. Nada.

On Twitter, I received eleven responses that I know of. My only means of measuring is who replied to the tweet in such a way that I was '@' mentioned in it. Twitter casts the biggest net--broadcasting to 16,000 plus and anyone else who might search for terms found in my tweet, but it is not very engaging in terms of a debate or discussion. The 16,000 people following me don't necessarily see any of the responses, so there is limited opportunity for any ongoing conversation.

The response on Google+ was the best. The question itself was +1'd twice, and there are 18 comments to the post. More importantly, though, the comments are not just to me. There is also interaction between different people who--as far as I know--don't even know each other based off of the comments. In other words, there was an actual conversation that took place on Google+ compared to silence on Facebook, and one-liner responses on Twitter.

I followed up the cartoon poll with a political statement. On Facebook the comment got "Liked" three times, and received three comments--a back and forth dialog between two of my friends who otherwise don't know each other. On Twitter, it got rewteeted three times with one back and forth between myself and one of the retweeters.

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