Understanding the Pros and Cons.
Facebook has been the undisputed champ of social networking for years now, but finally a challenger has been introduced in Google+. The launch of Google+ was highly anticipated in the world of social media, and now everyone is looking to see how it compares to Facebook and if it could prove to be more popular or more useful. So far, it’s much too early to tell.
Currently not nearly as many people use Google+ as they do Facebook, and that is the main drawback. What good is a social networking site if there is no one to network with? But more people join everyday, so it’s not fair to hold that against Google+ yet. It takes time to develop extensive membership, because sites like this need time to grow, just like Facebook did. So let’s look at Google+ versus Facebook purely from a utility standpoint and compare features.
Facebook chat is limited to chatting with one person. It only recently introduced video chat. Google+ has a feature called Hangout that lets you video chat with a total of ten people at once. This is a very valuable feature, from collaborative work efforts to family meetings, and it is one of the best aspects of Google+ so far. There is also the Huddle application that allows text chat among any number of friends.
Google+ is structured in a way that makes its Circles a central feature. All of your friends can be grouped into different circles, just like you have them in everyday life, by simply dragging and dropping their icons. You must choose which circles will see anything you post or share, and it makes filtering content among your friends very easy. You don’t have to worry anymore that your mom or boss will see the dirty joke you know your best friend will love. Facebook has ways to group friends (in lists), too, but it is not as easy to do.
Google+ is integrated into all the other great features of Google. Search, Documents, Picassa, Gmail, YouTube, and more all enhance what you can accomplish with Google+. It is helpful to have all these useful tools available in one place. When you are searching or using Gmail, for example, you can easily click back to Google+, and a small icon in the upper-right of your screen will always be there to quickly give you notifications.
One drawback to Google+ is that it doesn’t yet have a way for businesses to create pages. Facebook is a great way for companies to reach their customers, and it is an essential marketing tool for any business. If you want to learn more about a store you love, Google+ isn’t yet the place to do it. It’s likely that in the future Google+ will find a way to close this large gap, but they haven’t done so yet.
Games are some of the most popular features of Facebook, and Google+ has recently added its own Games section. You can’t play quite as many games as you can on Facebook, or collaborate with your friends as easily, but it is possible. This is just one of the areas Google+ has been making fast improvements in.
Only time will tell if Google+ can reach the status of Facebook, but it is certainly making strides. Right now most Google+ users still maintain Facebook accounts, and they find benefits and drawbacks that make having a profile on both sites more appealing than choosing just one.