July 18th, 2012

Google+ Users More Satisfied Than Facebook Users

Yesterday, I wrote about Google+ and the reasons for brands to consider using it. And then yesterday afternoon, I discovered a report that said Google+ users were more satisfied with Google+ than Facebook users were with Facebook. How timely! My favorite quote in the article:

“Facebook is the addiction we hate, but just can’t kick.”

It is so true. Facebook has become on our connection to friends, family and even news–world, national, and local. It is the one place we can go to get all the information we have selectively aggregated for our interests and needs. Which means that we are highly dependent on it and addicted to it (even checking while in the bathroom).

But why do we “hate” it and why are satisfaction reports saying that we don’t love it as much as we used to? My speculation is that in addition to just not liking that we need Facebook, we are frustrated with Facebook’s constant changes (it is just as frustrating for individuals as it is for marketers). It is hard to keep up and adapt to the changes, though eventually, everyone gets over it and loves the new things. And we are never sure if our privacy settings remained in tact, or even how to check to make sure that they are set as we want them in the first place. I’ve talked to many people that are on Facebook, but really don’t use it because they are scared that something about their posts won’t remain private.

“The survey attributes Google+’s high marks to the social platform’s ‘superior commitment to privacy,’ lack of traditional ads, and overall better mobile experience. Those surveyed by ACSI expressed distaste for Facebook’s Timeline feature, ads and privacy policies.

Enter Google+, where people are supposedly more satisfied. Google+ has a few features that differentiate it from Facebook. And it is a little more obvious as to how to control who sees your messages. And it is too new to have a lot of changes flying at us constantly. But one of the sole reasons for Google introducing Google+ was to use your Google+ content to customize your search results. So concern for privacy can not be the reason that people are more satisfied with Google+ as compared to Facebook. Google will be making relevant recommendations based on our profiles, habits and location. Google+ is socially annotating our search results with friends’ activities and recommendations and garnering an uptick in click-through rates of 5-10% as a result. This can be a good thing, or a scary thing, depending on your point of view.

I like the idea of Google+, but I am not a committed user quite yet. It is overwhelming to me and I don’t know as many people using it regularly yet to be able to count on it to get all of the information I need and want. Ultimately, I can see myself using Google+ differently than I use Facebook. I am quite addicted to Facebook as a connection and information source. Both networks have their places in our worlds and may not need to be compared to each other if we are going to use them in different ways.

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