Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Google+

There are plenty of things that are different among the services, but the fundamental difference is relationships and how they affect what people see.

Facebook: Friends are bi-directional relationships in which both sides have to agree to the relationship. In general, the things you post are viewable by all your friends, and show up in the News Feed if Facebook chooses to show it.

Twitter: Following is a unidirectional relationship in which only the follower needs to agree to the relationship (mostly). In general, the things you post are viewable by everyone, and show up on the Home page of your followers.

Google+: Circles are a unidirectional relationship in which the circle owner defines the relationship. The things you post publicly are viewable by everyone on the Internet, but show up on the Home page of people who put you in a circle. The things you post to one or more circles are viewable only by people in those circles, but again only show up on the Home page of people who put you in a circle. To further complicate things, you can add people to circles who are not Google+ users and opt to share things via email with them. Unlike Google+ users, they don’t have to opt in to get your posts.

So while Google+ superficially seems like a social network site akin to Facebook (it has profiles, friends, photos, sharing links/photos/whatever into the stream), the relationship model is much closer to Twitter’s. The question is whether real people will adopt Google+ with its targeted broadcasting model and full set of features over Twitter with its simple broadcasting model and lack of “clutter.”

All that said, it’s a little misguided to compare Google+ directly with Facebook or Twitter. A ubiquitous Google bar with notifications on Google, YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, Maps, News, Android, Chrome, etc. should go a long way toward increasing unique visitors and time spent across all Google properties.

Bringing Facebook comments back to WordPress

If you use WordPress, import your blog’s feed into Facebook Notes, and are a little annoyed that the Facebook comments aren’t reflected on your “real blog,” then you might want to install Facebook CommentsTNG:

Facebook CommentsTNG is a plugin for your WordPress blog that will spider your notes page and find imported WordPress blogs and bring the comments back into WordPress.

via The Kingdom of Philtopia ยป Plugins.

The Facebook comments show up with the comment writer’s name, a link to Facebook, and a Facebook logo as the avatar.

I suppose there are a couple small privacy concerns here.

First, you need to provide your Facebook credentials in order to crawl the notes and import the comments. I’m guessing Facebook Connect doesn’t provide an API for this. So it’s a question of whether you trust a guy named Phil to write a benevolent WP plugin. You might want to take a few seconds to view the plugin code.

Second, your “friends” who have commented on Facebook haven’t necessarily opted in to having their full name published on the Internet outside of a closed system like Facebook. But if this is something that actually concerns them, I’d advise that they not comment on anything on Facebook. Just visit the WordPress blog and make up an anonymous handle. Trusting a website to keep you safe/anonymous/private is stupid. You need to take responsibility for your own online presence.