The long anticipated social network developed by internet god Google has arrived and is currently all the buzz online. Released just over a month ago, Google Plus appears to have quickly become a tough competitor for Facebook. But, is it possible that Google Plus could overturn the social networking giant?
Many individuals throughout the web have explored this topic and remain somewhat undecided. Since its release in February of 2004, Facebook has gained worldwide exposure, ranked among the most visited sites on the internet, and reinvented the way in which we talk, share, and interact. With over 750 million active users in July of 2011, it seems very unlikely that Facebook will be going anywhere anytime soon or at all. However, there is no doubt, that Facebook does have its first real competitor in the social networking niche.
As part of its marketing scheme, Google Plus was first released as an “invite only” platform. This alluring marketing ploy builds up hype for the site and makes users with invites feel special and superior. “Invite only” marketing is a common trade today, intensifying users’ desire to join while the site is still in its beta stage. Many users flocked to Google Plus when they received their invites to explore the new grounds. At the moment at least, it seems that Google Plus and Facebook will work alongside one another. The Google network appears to be targeting a slightly different market than Facebook. So, for the time being, Google Plus is just too young to actually cause Facebook too much distress.
When discussing Facebook vs. Google Plus it is important to explore where Google is hoping to take their network and what their philosophy is about social networking. Google describes Google Plus as “real-life sharing, rethought for the web”. Working to create some distance between themselves and Facebook, Google Plus wishes to reinvent social sharing on the web because it is “flawed” in its current state. Google explains that web sharing is currently unlike real-life sharing. They pitch their network not as a social networking site for the web, but rather as a social sharing platform for “real life”. One of the most obvious and concrete differences between Google Plus and Facebook is that Google allows users to create different “circles” within their network. This means that individuals can share some things with one circle and other things with another circle. Google claims that this method is more similar to sharing in real life—you can have selective conversation with select individuals.
While social “circles” are the most obvious difference between Google Plus and Facebook, there are plenty of other differences between the two similar sites. But, for the time being, the only real way to explore the question of “which is better” is by exploring what one site has over the other:
Google Plus’ Pluses
- Google Plus offer better and more straightforward privacy
- Goggle Plus has a simple and clean interface
- Google Plus has a superior chat platform
- Google Plus integrates Facebook and Twitter in many ways
- Google Plus offers a group video chat feature
- Google Plus has the Sparks feature that delivers the real news (not the newsfeed)
- Google Plus allows you to see what strangers are saying
- Google Plus is accessible from Gmail or Google.com
Google Plus’ Minuses
- Google Plus has fewer features than Facebook at the moment
- Google Plus does not have anything outstanding to offer an individual who is devoted (or addicted) to their Facebook page that is different
- Google Plus has a less powerful brand within the social networking scene than Facebook does because Google is known for so many other things