There are many that think Facebook and Google+ are an either/or option in a bad of good versus evil. It seems that an alternative needs to be thrown into the equation. While both Facebook and Google+ have a plethora of pros and cons, it makes sense that there should be room for both to exist. After all, isn’t business better when competition exists?
For Users, Facebook and Google offer different qualities for how relationships with others are formed, how information is shared, and the additional services that are available on each platform. Facebook being the more mature of the two networks, has a massive collection of third-party services, such as games and movies, for users to enjoy. Google+ on the other hand, allows friends to be grouped much more easily, allowing a variety of information gates to be put in place, limiting what personal information is shared with which group.
The big differentiating element of Facebook and Google+ are who the users are that push for the either/or option. As Facebook as been the only true virtualization of a persons life, millions came to Facebook to be “in the know” about what Facebook is. The experience once there has been where some users have been disappointed.
Facebook’s largest complaint deals with personal privacy. The younger company, Facebook moved very quickly to create a user experience that people did not want to leave. In doing so, their responsibility for personal information was mediocre. More than a few times, what seemed to be good ideas were disasters, where loads of personal information was compromised to third parties trying to sell the information, or cause unnecessary attention for certain users. Google has been seen as a much better guardian of a user’s private information.
Google+’s largest issue at this point is its youth. Like many other service launches from Google (Google Wave, Catalogs, Video), Google+ was seen as a test. The difference was that this test had 20 Million users in only 24 days. For Facebook it took over three years to reach that critical mass. This miraculous growth resulted in the Google+ team being caught off guard by its popularity. Services, such as a brand platform, do not exist on Google+. Third party applications, such as games, haven’t been given access to the brand new network. As time progresses this will change.
While both have issues against them, these social networks compliment each other quite well. With the financial backing that each have, and the partnerships that can be forged, these two will continuously compete for users and the bragging rights of having the better user experience.
Google+ will be huge for those that are a bit more technologically savvy, those that use Google services already, and those that are concerned about personal information security. Facebook takes the opposite, with those that want to be surrounded by all of their friends, people that are common computer users, and late adopters of technology.
For most people, it won’t be a clean cut decision for one or the other, and forcing a choice has the potential to go with what is known: Facebook. Google+ offers an alternative means of digitizing someone’s life and consuming content. That’s where the main draw exists, and that’s how it will continue to grow, as long as the network matures to have the built-in services and third party options that users of Facebook have grown to love.
Author Bio:- Adam Costa is a San Francisco based business consultant who provides organizational leadership training to start-up companies.