Google Plus? But I don’t have friends there!

“No matter how good Google Plus is, it won’t be fun if my friends aren’t there!”

In my last post I listed 21 reasons why you should ditch Facebook and switch to Google+. 21, folks. That’s a lot of reasons. The issue, of course, is how good a platform/service has to be to get you to give up Facebook, when Facebook is where nearly all of your friends are, and the main reason you use Facebook probably isn’t all the geeky technical reasons I listed in that post, but to have online fun with your friends. That’s valid, and I want to address that in this post.

On a certain level, there is no persuasive argument against this. If your friends are not on a social network, it is not very social, and there would seem to be little reason to use it. So why would you want to switch to Google Plus if you don’t have friends there?

1. Chances are good you have more friends there than you think

I am not suggesting you have scores of friends there (although it’s possible), but perhaps more than you think. In response to my previous post, someone told me they didn’t “know anyone” there except for me. One of his friends then responded to him, “What? You’re on Google Plus? I didn’t know that, so am I!”  Google Plus, right now, has roughly 1/5 as many users as Facebook. But 1/5 of 900 million is still 180 million people, more users than Twitter.  Google Plus is the number two social network, and it has only been around for a year and a half. Chances are decent that you know a few of its 180 million users.

2. Out of all of your Facebook friends, how many of them regularly post things that interest you?

How many have you muted so you never see their posts at all? How many would you be okay if you never heard from again, but you just haven’t wanted to hurt their feelings by unfriending them? If you could take a subset of your Facebook friends with you to G+, how many would suffice to make it an interesting place to be, especially given the frustration and garbage you’ll lose by ditching Facebook? I still don’t have enough on  Google Plus to make it as fun as I’d like, but that’s partly because…  

3. Currently, many more people have Google Plus accounts than the number who post regularly

What has happened is that people have opened G+ accounts, checked it out a little, discovered not many friends were there, and then simply stopped using it. My guess is that if everyone who already has a G+ account were to start logging in and checking it regularly, I would probably already have enough G+ friends that I would stop using Facebook almost entirely.

4. I compose most of my Facebook posts on Google Plus, and then Google Plus shares them to Facebook

This isn’t nearly as good as my friends just using Google Plus, but it keeps me posting to G+, and I have new friends becoming users regularly. Doing this allows you to get into G+ but hang onto Facebook while you still feel you need to.

5. Google Plus is to Facebook today as Facebook was to MySpace eight or nine years ago

It is the obviously superior product, and it’s just a matter of time before it catches on. Remember how trashy MySpace was? Remember how classy and cool Facebook was by comparison? Facebook has become that cluttered, trashy place, and  Google Plus is the new product that is cleaner, funner, and cooler.

6. I am trying to persuade others to use Google Plus because it’s more fun. And better.

Also because you will never again have to mess with a friend request (Google Plus doesn’t have friend requests, you just follow whoever you want to follow whenever you want to and you will only see what that person allows you to see), and I want to use a great product! So do you, and that’s why you complain about Facebook all the time: messing up your Newsfeed, adding the ticker, implementing Timeline, changing your Facebook email address, making it so you can’t see everything your friends are posting, and otherwise goofing with your experience. So do something!

What to do

Repost this blog post, and my earlier one, to Facebook — and convince a few of your friends to switch as well.

I know right now there are probably 50 people using  Google Plus because I told them about it. If you get an account and realize no one is there, and then shuffle back to Facebook, it will have been a waste of time. But if you open your account, and then share my posts about G+ once in a while, I virtually assure you a few of your friends will check it out. And you know what? There’s a chance that some of your Facebook friends are my friends too, and when they join  Google Plus, it gets better for both you and me! This is the connected nature of social networking. This is what is great about it. Facebook succeeded because at some point you made the leap! You ditched MySpace, if you were there, and switched over. You built your list of friends, one at a time. You learned how to use it and made it a part of your life. G+ will succeed if and when you do the same.

If you read this and say, “sounds like a hassle,” then obviously I’ll have to catch you on G+ when you finally switch over later on because that’s where your friends have gone. It’s already a great product, and I’m asking your help in making it the success it deserves to be. I’m just not the kind of person who wants to continue eating bologna when steak is so freely available. I want to eat steak, and tell all my friends about it, and get them eating steak too!