When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg signed on to Google+ he posted a glum-looking photograph. Was it a mere coincidence, or a fitting reflection of the foreboding that Facebook top brass shares in light of the arrival of fearsome competition? There are plenty of reasons why Google+ will beat Facebook hands down.
Integration into the whole gamut of Google services is evidently the biggest selling point of Google+. “Can you start to see/imagine what Google+ does for Gmail? Picassa? Youtube? Not to mention search? The +1 system that Google now has control of (unlike Facebook Likes) can really influence and change the nature of their search,” says Tom Anderson, MySpace founder.
Anderson explains that though Google+ looks like a “reaction” to Twitter/Facebook, it does indeed make Google a better, more integrated set of services. “Google already has top-notch products in key categories–photos, videos, office productivity, blogs, Chrome, Android, maps and (duh) search.”
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While Facebook may have had a head start in the social networking model, Google is poised to play catch up very soon. Google has millions of users availing of its free services like email, Docs etc. besides enjoying a near monopoly in search business.
As Google+ offers to integrate its social line into the whole range of free Google service, why would millions of those people ever want to go to another website for purely social networking purpose?
The second biggest plus of Google+ is that its networking model is more grounded on real life patterns of socializing. The ‘Circles’ concept presents a way to find friends and socialize with them in a more direct, real-life method. Google says the Google+ model is different from the Facebook model, which doesn’t distinguish between family, close friends and acquaintance.
If you fear being bombarded with what all the ‘friends’ are sharing, without being able to pick and choose who you would like to interact with and what level, then you would certainly find more peace at Google+.
“Not all relationships are created equal. So in life we share one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with our boss,” Google says.
Google+ offers an altogether different model of social networking. The core of Google+ is a feature called ‘Circles’ which helps a member organize different kinds of friends at various levels and control the way process of sharing.
“We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time,” says the blog. If a Facebook member has 100 friends or more he/she frets over the idea of posting anything since everything is seen as a stage performance. “… so we often share less because of stage fright.” And then, we define “friend” and “family” differently, in our own way, on our own terms.
Thirdly, in a useful give and take with the Android, your android smartphone will be made a ‘seamless appendage of your Google+ social platform’, according to a PC World report. By unleashing the strength of its Android user base, Google can easily beat the clunky mobile app Facebook has.
Again, Google+ offers video chat service called +Hangout, which will score a point over Facebook. There are already reports suggesting that Facebook is trying to plug this hole by teaming up with Skype. By launching a Skype-powered chat, as reported by TechChrunch, Facebook will seek to cancel out Google’s advantage though.
And more importantly, the plain fact that Facebook doesn’t have a search engine will give Google enormous advantage as the rivalry blooms. Google+ users will certainly enjoy the upper hand they have got over Facebook users. Google+ users can unleash the power of Google search and share with their friends real time data coming through Google search. Google has named this feature +Sparks. This means a Google+ user is no longer groping in the dark as to what to share to friends, while Facebook users would still be doing so.
Better privacy settings can be a big plus for Google+ it has been reported. There have been cases of Facebook users quitting the site en masse, unsatisfied by the privacy aspect.
“Though, Facebook allows users to download their account information, Facebook makes it hard to exit. Users must wait for two weeks in a ‘deactivation’ period, after these weeks the account is ‘permanently deleted from Facebook,’ says a report in Linearfix. Google already has a much easier system for users exiting services which have carried over to Google+, the report points out.
The PCWorld article also points out that Facebook is notorious for its poor stewardship of personal data. When a Facebook user finds the certain parts of the personal data should be pulled, this cannot be done immediately whereas Google’s ‘Data Liberation’ tool makes it possible hassle-free.
Other features that help Google+ score over Facebook are better photo tagging, superior chat group features, safer content sharing and the like.
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