Many prefer Facebook to Google+, but in my opinion Google+ is built on better technology and certainlyhas the potential to ditch Facebook. I decided to go ahead and write about a showdown on certain points between Facebook and Google+.
Google is taking Google+ so seriously that it redesigned all of its services, including the recent Google Reader, to make the interface uniform and adaptable. Apart from this the Google Navigation bar also adds up to the seamless integration of Google+ with other Google services. Google+ makes great use of images’ EXIF information, while still uses the theatre-like effect for photos used by Facebook. It also has a nice way to manage Circles, and auto-updates shared links’ cache, which shows how much care the Googlers took, while designing Google+.
Apart from all these, I like the ‘following-followers’ method than the old ‘friending’ method.
On the other hand, I like the Facebook design too, especially because I don’t like too much white space as Google+ shows. But the crowding about in the design of Facebook is a turn-off for a few.
Another issue is Facebook has issues when they redesign, like their latest Timelines profile feature are not available even after a month and half after its announcement.
Facebook is notoriously known for selling its users’ information to organizations, although there’s no proof to prove that. They have never even considered user feedback. For example people have asked for an option to review tags for a long long time before it was eventually released. People can add their Friends to any groups they want and it is irritating but the people at Facebook have never really cared about this.
New features like Facebook Timeline and Facebook Ticker will encourage stalkers. Nik Cubrilovic, an Australian developer recently made a interesting argument, that Facebook tracks its users even after they logout, which came out to be true.
In Google+, HTTPS is enabled by default, Circles can be edited and managed in a better way than Facebook lists which is overlooked by many Facebook users.
We can’t deny that Facebook was the one who brought relationships to the web, and it still continues to. Although features like Facebook Ticker is a privacy intrusion for some users, for many of them it’s a better way to interact with their friends. Apps like Spotify, WAPO’s Social Reader are more social, than they previously are.
One of the keen features Google+ is missing is brand pages, for many companies, small and big, Facebook is the best way to interact with customers, such is the popularity of Facebook Pages. Facebook Questions and Groups, on the other hand, can be used to crowd source opinions easily.
Best thing ever in Facebook? Members. Yes, people matters, Google+ is not dead but it’s not as active as Facebook is. In fact, at one stage, I dumped Facebook for Google+, but then I reactivated Facebook, seriously because there wasn’t much talk in Google+.
Google+ might have 40 million users registered, while Facebook has 800 million active users. So Facebook is king when interaction is concerned.
For me, the best feature ever in Google+ is Hangouts. It’s seriously awesome and I guess, if Google turns it into a standalone app then it would top all the app stores out there.
The new ‘Hangouts with extras’ in Google+ not only lets you group video chat and voice chat, but you can also do screen sharing, work on same document with your colleague (with Google Docs integration), scribble on sketch pad, and much more.
In Facebook, all you can do is – one to one video chat, nothing more than that. Also it chat feature seems buggy and inconsistent.
So, as you can see, Google+ is the winner for this week’s showdown.
For many of them, Google+ is too professional, and I agree with that to some extent. They need to push features like Facebook Questions etc. which will make social networking interactive, because I don’t want Google+ to be another LinkedIn. Sure, there’s not much buzz in Google+, but it will certainly take time to create some, in my opinion. Make sure you read this awesome article by Robert Scoble on where Google+ is heading.
On the other hand, Facebook needs better technology, one main reason why Facebook is still ruling the social networking world is, people are resistant to change. But change is inevitable and it will depend on Facebook whether they change or people might change their choice for a social network.