With the launch of google + recently, there is a lot of talk concerning whether or not google + can compete with Facebook. Most of the immediate reactions I have encountered have been doubtful, due to the fact that Facebook is far too popular to be outranked in the social network world. However, history does repeat itself. I can remember my switch from Myspace, to Facebook back around 2006, and I never looked back. Google, after all controls what everyone is seeing on the web. They really don\’t need a link building service to set themselves apart. With many doubts in mind, I had to get onto google+ to check the action out.
Upon first visiting plus.google.com I was informed that google\’s trial field was already filled up, and I would be notified when room becomes available. I know one thing is for sure, that made me want to be part of the google+ immediately. Luckily I snagged an invite from a coworker, and started google +\’ing. Google + from the start is very user friendly. It features a profile picture, friends, wall posts, and even a news feed which google + is calling the \”stream.\” In all honesty, google + looks a lot like Facebook, at first glance. Google + has a few major differences that I found intriguing.
The first thing google did to set it self apart was create circles. Circles can be for family, friends, acquaintances, and custom circles you may create. This allows you to post information so that only select groups of people may see. Facebook takes a different, algorithmic approach to having the friends you interact with most, more likely to pop up. Another take on a social network that google has implemented is \”Hangouts.\” While this can be comparable to a Facebook event, hangouts produce a live video feed of a hangout appearing in your stream, and the people who are involved. This is a great idea, because for once the social online interaction, may turn into a real life social experience, without a planned event. Isn\’t that what it is all about anyways?
Google plus seems to have a lot more privacy features. After only using google+ for only a few days, I decided to rid myself of Facebook. The immediate thing i was reminded of was that deleting your Facebook is a heavy task. Unless you go in manually and delete all content, your Facebook account will be the exact same next time you log in. On top of that, recently I noticed that upon chatting an old friend on Facebook, all previous messages were still all listed in the conversation.
Some of these messages were deleted, and dated back as far as two years. Although it was interesting to see my conversations from two years ago, choosing to have those conversations saved, or deleted should ultimately be my choice. Google combats this negligence for customers by supplying an \”off the record\” button on chat. They also have a video chat, you may exchange files, and even add people to the conversation.
Google\’s social network is doing one thing right. That is, setting themselves apart from Facebook. Google never wants to trap you using their services. People use google because they are the best, and they have the best quality. No along with your gmail, google docs, and countless other features you have a great social network to utilize. Saying google will never pass Facebook, is a bold statement. In the leapfrog of social networks Myspace jumped Friendster, Facebook jumped Myspace, and now Facebook is next in line. If Facebook really looks hard into addressing customer concerns, they will most likely make it out on top. If they fail to do so there may be a sequel to The Social Network.