The Blue Dog Scientific Blog: Why Google+ Collections Are Better Than Pinterest Boards.

Why Google+ Collections Are Better Than Pinterest Boards.

G+ Collections and Pinterest
Google+ Collections have been around for a few weeks now, but in my view they are not fulfilling their potential. In this article, I argue that G+ Collection have all the benefits of Pinterest Boards plus all the benefits of Google+. I give 7 reasons why, therefore, a G+ Collection should, by rights, outperform a corresponding Pinterest Board. So if you are a Pinterest Aficionado, give G+ Collection a try and let us know how it goes!

1. Engagement. G+ is no doubt the best social platform for engagement on posts, when used correctly. Pinterest is the worst, but this is only because it was developed as visual discovery/collecting tool, rather than for social engagement.

2. Click Thrus. G+ posts tend to get more click thrus. Why? Because with a Pin you have to click twice - once to open the pin and the second time to click thru. Every additional click is a big barrier for driving people to a destination.

3. Groups. The only real way to get posts more widely seen is to share them to groups. On Pinterest, group boards don't even have any set rules for how you join them. It can be a really hard game to even get signed up to group boards on Pinterest! On G+, however, you can join groups and post straight away. Also, Pinterest groups are disorganized while G+ groups are organized into sections. Pinterest Groups with follower numbers in the 10,000s are considered large. G+ groups are often in the 100,000s. There is no in-built was to search for Pinterest groups (but you can with an external website called Pin Groupie), G+ has full search capability for it's communities - it even has a habit of recommending groups to you.

4. Visibility. G+ collections are publicly visible. It does not matter whether one is signed in to G+ or not. Pinterest boards come with a whacking great "see more...log in"overlay when viewed by people who are not on the platform or not logged in.

5. Shareability. Pinterest Boards themselves aren't shareable even on Pinterest (at least I haven't worked out how). G+ Collections can be shared not only on G+, but by using the Collections URL, can be shared elsewhere too (works on Facebook well, works ok on LinkedIn).

6. Style and Readability. Pinterest pins are highly visual. Text is limited to 500 characters, cannot be formatted, links in the text don't generally work well and it is hard to format the prose. Pinterest pins with a lot of text generally don't work as they look poor.  On the other hand G+ has both unlimited texts, but also good control over how much of that text is visible, from just a header to a large block of text, with the rest hidden by a "read more". Formatting is quite neat and versatile in G+ too. Thus G+ entries in a Collection can look very tidy with little text showing, but actually contain lots of links, detailed articles, etc., underneath the "fold".

7. Collections of Collections. Pinterest Pins are individual images. One image per Pin. G+ posts can be albums or, as noted above, can be the link to a Collection itself. This means that Collections can appear in other Collections as posts, which has some quite profound implications. It would be like having Pinterest Boards which contain Pinterest Boards...those Russian Dolls come to mind.


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  3. A great argument with a lot of very valid points! I think the challenge is getting the average Pinterest user to switch from Pinterest to Google+. Google still has a lot of work to do before people will "get it". It doesn't help that Google keeps changing it's mind as to what it thinks it is.

  4. Yes, inertia and instability both count against this. Plus G+ is hardly promoting the use of collections heavily?

  5. I am getting around on it a lot of reading but I think it will take off and be okay.

  6. I love Google Plus Collections way more than Pinterest.