Google is the internet’s most visited website which has the world’s information easily accessible. Google+ is a social network of Google and is available as a website and on mobile devices. Facebook is the biggest social networking website that connects people and businesses around the world. This article weighs each of these and brings out the pros and cons of the two.
Google+ having an user count of 90 million competes with its biggest rivals – Facebook and Twitter. The Google+1 button helps you to share and find what your friends have shared. Google+ Pages, is similar to Facebook pages. It allows businesses to connect with fans. These businesses will receive corporate accounts to start sharing information about themselves and invite others to join in on the conversation.
Google+ has made a recent entry into the social media category and hence let us find out how well it has been received and accepted by discussing the pros and cons.
Pros of Google+
Google+ is not Facebook: Google+ insists on users giving their real name to identify themselves instead of any first and last name in Facebook. Another feature which makes a difference is Privacy Settings. Unless you have customized your privacy in Facebook, all your information is visible publicly. On Google+ you can update the required information and leave the rest. You will not be prompted to give all the information and reveal them.
Circles: Google+’s friend list feature called Circles has received an applause from the users. This feature scores more than the friend list on Facebook or Twitter. People can find Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following as the options for Circle. Users can use the drag and drop to add friends and contacts into different circles. There is no a default list of friends-everybody goes into a circle. Sharing is very easy and a true advantage in a circle. Users can share content with everyone or with circles or with specific circles or people. When users share in Google+ it will be visible to the intended circles or people and not to anybody. The “Following circle” is a great way to keep up with your favorite celebrities.
Instant Photo Upload: This feature is specific to Android mobile devices. The mobile app is faster and users can upload photos and videos real quick. The video and photos are automatically uploaded and stored in user’s account in a private album for sharing later.
Hangouts: This feature that lets you chat with as many as 10 people simultaneously with a camera installed. Hangouts is useful for businesses in which you can chat with customers individually or as a group especially in remote locations. They will also be able to share documents and spreadsheets while hanging out. However, anyone on the web could potentially join the “Hangout” if they have the unique URL of the Hangout.
Sparks: Use sparks to grab news stories, blog posts, and articles from around the Internet on subjects you’re interested in.
Cons of Google+
- Google+ as a social networking site has received a much lesser interest from people. They still prefer Facebook and can’t leave it easily.
- Google+ pushes posts with new comments back to the top of the timeline so you can catch up on new comments. This drawback has been reported annoying by almost every Google+ user.
- Google+ offers limited customization compared to Facebook which allows users to customize using third party applications.
- Google+ doesn’t offer tie-in offer like LinkedIn in which you can tie other accounts like Twitter to your profile. The workaround for this would be adding links in your Google profile.
Pros of Facebook
Social networking for individuals: Facebook is an excellent platform to interact and connect with people. People who wish to be on Facebook can become a member and set up a profile. Once a profile has been created, you can send a friend request to your school mates, co-workers, relatives, old friends and add them to a Friends list. You can maintain your profile by adding status, photos, video and share them with friends and can get to know their friends updates via News Feed.
Facebook users can interact with Messages which similar to a mail system or can use Facebook Chat/Video to chat with their friends online. One of the recent feature added is the Timeline which has replaced the Facebook Profile. Facebook Timeline is the new profile page for it users. When you add a timeline, you tell your life story by way of photos, friends, milestones achieved, traveling etc. People can make use of the Events application to create an event for birthday, wedding, parties etc and invite friends for a social gathering. Groups application allows people to create and join groups they are interested in. Comments, likes, games, birthday calendar- Facebook has the required things for individuals.
Facebook for businesses: Facebooks caters to the needs of the business community. Companies offering products and services can create a page and promote them.
Businesses can advertise using Facebook Ads, add a fan page, invite business contacts and customers to support them. As the user base is huge, businesses can make good use of Facebook to enhance their sales and business opportunities.
Cons of Facebook
- Facebook causes a kind of addiction when over used.
- Many people think that the Newsfeed is annoying because you get updates about every single activity from your friends on Facebook and in turn are updated about yours.
- You may know many people on Facebook but it isn’t necessary to add each and everybody you know on the Friends list. Unless you adjust the privacy settings, your photos, video, status will be public. Anybody can view these, share, add comments(not required) and like them.
- Facebook gives a lot of apps like horoscope, greeting cards which prompt you to give out all your profile details.
- Companies intending to use Facebook as a media for their business growth need to have an extraordinary page, events and group that creates an interest to the customers and business contacts.
- For businesses, you will able to gauge the traffic to your page/fan page but it is difficult to find out how many have contributed to a sale. The pages as well as applications need to be monitored for positive and negative feedback because bad comments can spoil the image of the company and its products.
Hopefully this post will help you sort through which of these sites will meet your needs best. You may have a different perspective about the pros and cons – please share them in the comments section.