Gini Dietrich

Google+ Communities, Twitter Photos Change Social Game

By: Gini Dietrich | December 12, 2012 | 

I love social media. I love what it’s allowed us to do for both this blog and Arment Dietrich. I love the people I’ve met and the people I’ve hired because of it. I love nearly everything about it, except…the social networks copying each other is driving me crazy.

First, Facebook took a stab at my beloved Pinterest with Collections (and then removed it for further testing).

Last week Google+ introduced communities. Great. So now I have to go to both Facebook and Google+ to talk to the same people I talk to in private groups on Facebook.

Now it’s rumored Twitter is going to release photo filters before Christmas. Now I can’t post my Instagram photos to Twitter, but have to use an entirely different app to do that.

It’s as though they’re each sitting in their board meetings saying, “How can we get everyone to use our site instead of our competitor’s sites?”

I get it. I do. I want clients to hire us instead of our competitors. But we’re not trying to be all things to all people. What happened to specializing?

Putting my cynicism aside (I clearly need some time off of work), it is valuable to look at what both Communities and Twitter photos bring.

Google+ Communities

Communities lets you create just that – groups of people who have similar interests – in order to brainstorm, trade ideas, or just chat.

While I’m not a huge Google+ fan (though I do love it for its search capabilities), I do love the Google business model. They know the more people who use their products, the more they can charge advertisers. So they see us as the product, instead of the user, and they provide lots of cool things to us for free.

With communities, they’re now encouraging the tech and social media geeks to share Google+ with their friends and family…bringing more people to the site.

Kind of brilliant if we weren’t already established in Facebook groups with the same friends and family.

Twitter Photos

Last week, Twitter killed the integration of Instagram on its site. So you can no longer share your photos directly to Twitter (though Shelly Kramer has an awesome IFTTT workaround, if you want to continue doing it).

It’s rumored they’re doing this because the VITs (very important tweeters), such as celebrities, have larger followings on Instagram so they’re hoping those people will come to Twitter to share and view photos.

According to the Twitter blog, this is what you’ll get if you use the photo filters right within the social network:

Filters. Apply one of eight filters, ranging from black & white to vintage, to add a new look and feel to your photos.

Take a bird’s-eye view. See how each filter would affect your photo in a single grid view, or swipe through looks to compare your options.

Frame the action. Crop and pinch to zoom in order to focus attention.

Auto-enhance. Make your photos pop with balanced light and colors by tapping the wand.

I don’t know how it will change my own personal social experience. I do know we won’t recommend clients jump on the bandwagons just yet. What about you?

(Ignore this, I’m testing something with SEO. Connect with Gini on .)

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • You’re right, with so many choices, it’s hard to make a recommendation. And with the new Instagram-inspired Flickr iPhone app update today, there’s yet one more option.

    • @redcrew My head hurts!

      • @ginidietrich I’ve been a fan and user of Flickr since it came out. Sad that development seemed to stop a few years ago. Glad to see it’s getting some notice again.

        • @redcrew It’s really the only place you can keep (and share) your photos online without the privacy issues of FB or losing the archives on Instagram. I hope they continue to innovate.

        • @ginidietrich That’s my opinion too. Facebook’s constantly changing privacy policies only serve to confuse people. With last month’s appointment of Adam Cahan as SVP of Emerging Products and Technology overseeing Flickr, I hope the Flickr team is allowed to move forward once again in creating outstanding user experiences.

  • stevesonn

    I agree, Gini. There’s so much change going on in social right now, some good and some not as good. It kind of forces consumers to make decisions about where they spend their social time. I do also think that Communities was a great move by Google+.

    • @stevesonn I guess the answer is we continue to watch and see. If the customers move, so do the organizations.

  • Love the changes because they keep clients completely beholden to us as only crazy PR people have the time or inclination to keep up!  (Just Kidding).  Our philosophy is always to test  any changes for a little while to see what’s a keeper and what features will fall flat.  
    Personally, I would love one monolithic platform that does everything that I want to do and do it all really well.  In lieu of that, I liked that each platform integrated and I am actually quite annoyed that Instagram no longer integrates with Twitter.  
    I don’t know if Google+ will see increased numbers from Communities, but time will tell.  Prying the average social user from the grip of Facebook is a pretty tall order.  It’s a little sad because Google offers the best range of products, but so few really want to add yet another platform to their online lives.

    • @HeatherTweedy HAHAHAH! Just yesterday someone asked me how they keep up. I said, “Hire experts who keep up for you!”

  • I’m just glad you keep track of this stuff for us!
    Decided to jump in with both feet on the G+ community thing. This is more because it is fresh ground and because I’ve learned some lessons from my Triberr experience. The small tribes I’m in are more friend-based and less topical. The huge tribes are simply too large and contain a lot of chaff.
    I’m hoping to create a custserv/custexp community that is truly focused on quality. Might be a bust, might be a huge time suck — but at least, it’s an opportunity to build something from the ground up.

    • @Adam | Customer Experience I like where you’re going with this. To me, it feels like one more thing, but like I said, I need a vacation. I really like the idea of having a dedicated community. Though, I’m not sure I’d move Spin Sucks there. I have to think more about it.

      • @ginidietrich Not doing it branded, figured that’s what the page is for. (Is that a good move, oh marketing master?) Just a community for CS/CX peeps.

        • @Adam | Customer Experience I think it IS a good move. A very good one.

    • HowieG

      @Adam | Customer Experience once Mashable banned me from commenting @ginidietrich became my source for all things social media.

      • belllindsay

        @HowieG  @Adam | Customer Experience  @ginidietrich Now *there’s* an endorsement. 😉

        • @belllindsay  @HowieG  @ginidietrich No doubt, y’all should remove all your sidebar badges and just replace them with a huge “Endorsed by Howie” badge.

        • @Adam | Customer Experience  @belllindsay  @HowieG Ha! LOL!

  • It’s ironic – i left G+ because I didn’t see any real value for me there, but the Communities are rocking. It’s allowed us to set up a dedicated community around Influence Marketing, and samfiorella and I are joined by some very smart folks daily to discuss current and future trends, as well as give a sneak peek into the daily writing process with Sam and I’s idea process caught in daily Hangout snippets, as well as regular Community Hangouts.
    It may just “save” G+ from being solely for the geeks. 😉

    • @Danny Brown  samfiorella Speaking of, how did your Hangout go yesterday?

      • @ginidietrich  samfiorella Well, apart from Sam messing up the original link and keeping everyone out except a few… Really good, some great insights from all. You can find it here when you have a sec. 🙂

        • @Danny Brown  If I hadn’t been speaking, I would have been in there for sure. If only to translate for you.

        • @ginidietrich do you see the abuse I have to take when working with @Danny Brown

        • HowieG

          @ginidietrich  @Danny Brown I thought it was today so was planning on testing the hangout on phone while traveling to Albany with Lili. And got the alert when at the doctors for her 18 month check up. What I noticed was now more than 10 can participate?

        • HowieG

          @samfiorella  @ginidietrich  @Danny Sam did Danny ask you what your Klout score was before deciding to work on this book with you?

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich I think more than 10 can participate, Howie. I wouldn’t know from this one, as @samfiorella arsed up the original event…

        • @samfiorella  I feel for you. I do. @Danny Brown

        • @Danny Brown  10 is max on screen I believe but it’s streamed live for others to watch and engage via Twitter or G+ posts.  And for the record, the first attempt to start that Hangout was working perfectly until Danny signed it. I don’t think G+ liked the smell of his breath. 😉
          @HowieG  @ginidietrich

        • @HowieG  No, he didn’t care about my Klout score but did need to know if I shaved my chest. Not sure why, but he seemed satisfied with the answer and here we are.. @ginidietrich  @Danny

    • @Danny Brown  samfiorella I must head over and check out your community!  That’s the main reason I wanted to go — the thought leadership of twitter but without its attendant anxieties and 140 character limit.

      • @dalicie  samfiorella Cheers, Dwayne, would love to see you over there and sharing your insights:

        • @Danny Brown  samfiorella I’m in!  And have been listening to yesterday’s recorded hangout as I work on a project. Excited to be connected!

        • @Danny Brown  @dalicie  samfiorella Is it an open community so scallywags like myself can join?

        • @TonyBennett  @dalicie  samfiorella It’s open ESPECIALLY for scallywags like you.

  • HowieG

    I was just thinking of this @ginidietrich because that is how I roll. The fragmentation of everything. You and I exchanged thoughts on how little people interact with Facebook brand pages even though impressions/reads are much higher (though unknown).
    Back in the day. Like 1979. If you wanted to reach people you had TV, Radio, Print.
    Now to reach the same group who have such much choice and spend their time so fragmented among laces if you do a pie chart and start saying where people are you have a lot of small slices. Facebook 12 mins. TV 4 hrs. Huff Post 6 mins. NYTimes 5 mins. Twitter 4 minutes. Radio whatever minutes. And it is getting worse.
    I used to be able to say Buy TV Ads and reach 98% of consumers. Now people like me have no TV and spend a lot of time online and twitter. I spend 10 minutes on Spin Sucks so place an ad here pepsi if you want to reach me.
    When slices get small is it so much easier to compete and duplicate. Very hard for me to recreate one of the big 3 TV networks pre-cable and their ecosystem. Really easy for me to start a blog, a social media site, a website etc.
    Good luck.

    • @HowieG I was just reading an article about the fragmentation of content and how we all skip banner ads and fast forward through commercials so the big push is going to be toward content that is also an ad. I think that hurts my writing heart.

  • belllindsay

    G’AH!! I seriously am getting so tired of all this fragmentation. Some days I feel like second by second there’s a “new thing” or an improved way to do stuff. I’m with Gini, it’s been a long year, with a massive learning curve for me personally, so maybe I’m just tuckered out and need a break. But I find myself immediately wanting to blank the new things – out of spite? because I’m a punk at heart? – who knows. I’m old, so maybe it’s as simple as that. But I am so overwhelmed by the pace of the changes and the inundation of shiny new things. A change is as good as a rest – as my Dad always said – but holy *slow down* people!!

    • @belllindsay I think you’re a mirror to how many people feel about social!  Could you even imagine trying to use all of these products if it wasn’t our job!

      • magriebler

        @HeatherTweedy  @belllindsay And I just want to say: Why can’t we all get along? User fatigue is always a risk with over-specialization. And world peace will never be possible if the networks that are supposed to be SOCIAL can’t even figure out a way to cooperate.

        • belllindsay

          @magriebler  @HeatherTweedy Well said. 100% agree.

    • @belllindsay I received several responses from people who said they are going to refrain from joining because they can’t add anything else to their plate. I understand how cranky it makes people and I won’t tell you what Tom Petty said when he joined.
      You know one of the things I iike about the groups is that it gives us a chance to run on the big hamster wheel with different people. I have made some tremendous friends and connections online but I don’t want to limit myself to solely hearing what they have to say because after a while we all sound the same.

      • belllindsay

        @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes HAHAHA! You sir, I love. 🙂

    • @belllindsay You are old. That’s probably what it is.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich But stunningly gorgeous!! 😀

  • All I know is I’m actually getting @HowieG to participate in a private WUL Google+ community which I *hope* will help me cut down on emails to the WUL bloggers (regulars), so it’s a win for me!

    • @Shonali  @HowieG No way! Will he finally move to WordPress, too??

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich  @Shonali  @HowieG HAHAHAHA!! I razzed Howie the other day about his rather archaic commenting system on the blog. 😉

  • As one of my favorite authors, Flannery O’Connor, titled a book of short stories, “Everything That Rises Must Converge” … the title comes directly from a work by a French philosopher, according to dear Wikipedia, a site that has *not* yet introduced photo filters, but I digress.  : )
    The addition of Google + communities definitely piqued my interest and almost made me head over there to flesh out my profile and revel in the new connectivity … but I haven’t yet. I don’t know if that says something about me or about the continuous innovation!

    • belllindsay

      @dalicie Also the title of a *fantastic* Shriekback tune. 😉

      • @belllindsay Nice! I will have to go check that out!

        • belllindsay

          @dalicie 1985 – Wow. I’m old. 😉

        • @belllindsay Love it! They’re on spotify as well, and I’m glad because now I’m pumped to hear more Shriekback. How had I not heard of them?  VIVA GEN X!

        • belllindsay

          @dalicie You know, I’m never sure whether to share music – my tastes run from hard core punk to old school country – with some Lyle Lovett thrown in for good measure. Glad you liked. They really were an amazing band. 🙂
          p.s. Technically, I fall just on the cusp of Gen X. LOL

        • @belllindsay Same here!  But somehow, in my first year of college (1994), one of my friends managed to observe, “You know Dwayne, you’re just like all the characters in Reality Bites all rolled into one.”  HA!

    • @dalicie I love that one of your favorite authors is Flannery O’Connor.

      • @ginidietrich All things Southern Gothic just sing to me. I hope to visit her house in GA one day!

        • @dalicie And when you do, you can Instagram/tweet your photos!

  • I’m getting burned out…but it does seem that there are different “crowds” in different social media arenas. For people like you @ginidietrich and me, it seems like too much because we are sort of everywhere. But for – dare I say – normal people, they might find where they fit the best and stay there. The challenge is when you’re trying to reach people and they are all spread out. I don’t know if there is a solution, but since there probably won’t be a “one size fits all” I think we’ll see more fragmentation in the future.

    • @jeanniecw What?! We’re not normal??

    • @jeanniecw I would like to contribute to your burnout, so I’m sending you an invite to a new CS/CX G+ community. 🙂

  • I hear what you are saying but I started a community because I wanted to know first hand what it was like on both sides. member and moderator. There is a lot of fragmentation but there are also lots of people who only use specific platforms so there is something to be said for trying to reach them where they are.

  • I totally agree on the Google+ Communities. Kicker is that I think it superior because of the ease in which you can start a Hangout and take the conversation to the next level with “face to face”.
    But we already have the established communities in Facebook, so that means our time/attention is now split between the two platforms. Completely understand why Google is doing it, and I think it is great, but we the users suffer from dilution!
    Haven’t paid attention to the Twitter filters yet…

    • @dbvickery I played with the Twitter filters this morning. I guess if you tweet a lot of pictures (I don’t), it’s pretty cool. But then you have to go add it to your other social networks manually. Dumb.

      • @ginidietrich I’ll stick to Instagram for the foreseeable future, then – not like I post that many pictures (maybe 5x/month)

  • All of these social media companies are fighting for users, and ultimately advertising dollars. But the thing I don’t get is if they are going to continue to rip off each other what incentive does anyone have to use Facebook’s version of Pinterest or Twitter’s version of Instagram when they are already committed to using the other. I just don’t see the compelling reason to switch. They can only hope to market to new users not existing. And my feeling is the new users they would be able to attract are not the demographic they are exactly seeking.

    • @Anthony_Rodriguez I think Twitter thinks the VITs will come to Twitter to share their photos, bringing with them legions of fans. But most people don’t like change so asking them to give up Facebook or Instagram in favor of the others just isn’t going to happe.

  • Oh, I’m sure I’ll be a very late adapter and only figure it out if I have to. My MO is just showing up; why o’ why is the tech crowd trying to make me obsolete…:)

    • @bdorman264 Don’t worry. You hang with me and all will be okay.

    • @bdorman264 And you are the BEST at showin’ up! Go ‘Noles!

  • Twitter is not a photo sharing platform – stop trying to be something you’re not, lil birdie.
    That is all.

    • @TonyBennett Oh no! Are your little Instagram celebrity feelings hurt?

      • @ginidietrich well, can you blame me? When 12 year old girls respond “OMG @tony_bennett actually responded to me, this is so exciting” it gives you a Bieber complex 🙂

  • KevinVandever

    I post all photos on MySpace.

    • @KevinVandever OMG. I JUST had someone ask me if we recommend they use MySpace. Oy.

  • I would actually say that Instagram was the one which has more reasons to pull the plug on its relationship with Twitter. I wouldn’t want my photos shared ON Twitter but taken WITH Instagram to have the Instagram page as my landing link end-point 🙂 I do agree that social platforms would do a lot better by specializing. Unfortunately, it seems like the platforms want to be one-stop-social-shops.

    • @jsncruz I just read that Starbucks is introducing tea and other drinks into their stores in 2013. I always hate to see when companies go away from their niche because it almost always means the beginning of the end.

  • rdopping

    I don’t know who said this but it makes sense here. The more options you give someone the less likely they are to choose any one. Options paralysis. I have been invited to two G+ communities and I joined but the problem is that with all these networks i just can’t be active everywhere.
    A friend asked me if i was ok the other day because I hadn’t posted anything in Instagram in a while. Sheesh. Whatever. 
    G+ communities is shiny and new. Let’s see what happens. Maybe Brogan is right, who knows.

    • @rdopping LOL! I was in Vegas in April and I just didn’t feel like blogging one day. So I didn’t. You would have thought the world ended. Perhaps your friend felt the same way about you and Instagram.

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