Whatever Happened to Google+?
Google+ was supposed to be the next best thing after Facebook. It was supposed to revolutionize the way we use social media today. With Google+’s inclusion of everyone (not just anyone with a Google+ account), and their circles, and ostensible lack of difficulty, Google+ was meant to be the answer to all of those who were tired of Facebook, or more generally, tired of “traditional social networking”. So, what happened? And why aren’t Google execs using Google+ as often as they’d like us to?
According to an article by the Business Insider, the top Google executives haven’t used Google+ in over a month. This could be because they’ve made their accounts strictly private, but that wouldn’t make much sense for a company that is rolling out a new product to the public. If we don’t see Google employees acting as evangelists for their own product, what is it that is supposed to entice us, the public, to religiously use Google+ as hundreds of millions of people already use Facebook? Let’s compare the two to see what’s really going on. Here are several reasons why Facebook might just be better.
Google+ vs. Facebook
- Google+ offers Circles -which allow you to control who to share what with and what you see. Facebook soon-after announced something similar called Smart Lists which does what Google’s ‘circles’ do, but more intuitively and automatically. There’s no need to do anything initially, but you can manually change these settings if need be.
- As of August 3rd, there were only 25 million users on Google+ and as of September 28th, there were a reported 43 million users. What this means is that you will probably see the same 10-20 people actively online on Google+, and more than likely, only if they’re currently signed into Gmail. Remember, Facebook has close to 600 million active users and mostly everyone you know has a Facebook account.
- Social Network Fatigue – Many people that I have talked to don’t have the patience to learn an entirely different social networking platform. It’s taken many of us a lot of time to get acquainted with Facebook, and with its constant changes, many people are more likely to learn the new updates with a platform that they’re already familiar with such as Facebook.
- Spam Alert! – Google+ allows you to share with anyone and allows everyone to share with you, meaning that you are more likely to get spammed using Google’s new social network.
- Facebook’s News Ticker – now condenses everything that’s relevant to you in a single news ticker which shows what’s happening now, similar to Twitter. If you want to view certain media such as a song or link someone has posted, you can do so with just a click of a button – without ever leaving the Facebook page you are on. Google+’s ‘Streams’ act more like the traditional Facebook’s status updates. Wonk wonk woooooonnnnk….
- Open Graph Platform – Facebook offers an OGP which allows more flexibility for developers. What this means is that there will be more apps/add-ons available on Facebook and more partnerships made between companies such as Netflix, Zynga, and Spotify.
- Facebook Timeline – So, just when Google + thought it had something, copying a large part of its platform from Facebook, Facebook goes and changes its user interface completely (something to be publicly unveiled soon in light of the latest copyright infringement lawsuit brought on by timelines.com). Facebook’s Timeline offers a visual interface that looks similar to the very popular tumblr blogs. It shows you a visual representation of the most important moments of your [social networking] life including maps of where you’ve been, popular comments and posts, and most viewed/important pictures. You will be able to vertically scroll through these items, helping to make Facebook much more interactive and visually stimulating. With Timeline, you can visually curate the story of your life and highlight essentially whatever you want. For screenshots of what Timeline will allegedly look like go here.
So, what will you do? Will you migrate to Google+ or will you remain, or perhaps even become a Facebooker?