Today I, and many of my friends and acquaintances, have started experiencing the new sensation on the web, Google’s new SNS – Google+ which people have already started to abbreviate as G+.
It was bit tricky starting up with G+, coz like all other projects they have started it with a limited access test phase. After getting an invitation, I opened Google plus with a great expectation to see amazing things and find some awesomeness but with great disappointment I found myself somewhere in just like another Facebook. At first I felt like I’m in a place where someone added a skin, some features of HTML5 and CSS on regular Facebook. They even have the layout noway other than that of FB! OK, I’m going to do a comparative study on this to.
- both have sharing (stream) options: status, links, photos, video
- users can get connected with other users (friends on FB, people on G+)
- the home has a 3-column layout
- main contents (feed/stream) are in the middle
- left column is for menus, links and chat
- right column is for highlights, suggestions, AI generated material
- people can comment on and re-share things of other people in both
- you can tag and comment on photos in both
- there is integrated chat feature from both having a link on the left column, and if you start chatting a new sub-window appears in the bottom right corner
- there are home and profile for each users in both
- each user have to set up a profile on both providing basic identity information and other info
- both have notifications system
- users can search people on both networks
- Customizable sharing visibility; in both users can change the visibility of post while sharing
Similarities using different terms
- Connection Cluster: You can make lists of your friends on FB, circles of people on G+
- Click to appreciate: you can like posts on FB, click +1 on posts at G+
- Interests: On FB you can like or show interests on things, pages, and subjects. On G+ you have spark
- You can share locations on G+, not yet on FB
- On G+ people can have group video chat (hangouts) but not on FB. FB have group text chats though with predefined or existing groups
- FB has groups and networks. G+ don’t have yet
- FB has notes and other applications, G+ don’t yet
- FB has a lot of apps, hopefully G+ might have them as well
- FB has public questions
- On G+, you can add custom hyperlinks (links with texts); but on FB you can only place URLs
Who is better?
It is not yet the time to say who is better. But Facebook has the advantage of being first successful SNS and has built a nation in seven years. Google is a very popular brand with lot of fans and cults but Google plus has yet to start growing its circle. Google has advantage of having a lot of other web apps and features like Gmail, maps, web search, Picasa, Docs, voice and video chat, readers and lot more. Google has already integrated the G+ with all other of its service. Google have phone OS and going to pioneer OS for cloud user. Facebook has also plans for its own phone OS and have a good partnership with Microsoft. FB uses some of MS features like Bing and MS Office.
Google’s earlier projects in SNS were not successful; especially wave was shut down pretty soon. Buzz – which was Google soldier to battle against twitter was obviously not pretty welcome. People were forced not to disable Buzz completely because they were linked with Gtalk status. But, G+ is not same as the previous projects, it is lot better.
Let us see proves to be better.
But the ultimate question is, why and how people will move from Facebook to Google+? I’m pretty sure a lot of people will have G+ profiles, like as many of us have unused MySpace, AOL, Yahoo! Profiles. But will the total population move on to Google plus?
Facebook has a very big nation, almost every people with whom we usually make contacts have and regularly maintain FB accounts. Celebrities, brands and products have opted in FB for keeping in touch with fans, clients, users and well-wishers. It is really tough to take the risk of making another fan base right away. There are lots of pages in Facebook and they are actually acting as a ubiquitous feed reader. Instead of subscribing to RSS or ATOM of a web content provider like lifehacker or Gizmodo it has been better to like their FB pages and see their casts on FB home. There are lots more reasons people are so much into FB. So, what I’m asking, is not “if G+ can be a better alternative or not”, but is “if people would opt into another platform when the platform’s main metric of attraction is its population?”
I’ll end this post with the first posts of my friends on Google+
“facebooking in the google way!” – my first post on G+
“ফেসবুকের নয়া ভার্সন আর কি!!” – in Bengali meaning: “Whatever! Just a new version of Facebook!”
“রোদন করার নতুন অরণ্য পেলুম :-)” – in Bengali meaning: “Got another place to shout :-)”
“googling and adding (plusing)” followed by “best thing about google plus (till now) is that it is not blocked in office :D”
and some tweets:
“#Google+ is a step forward but I’ll need at least 2 more social networks if I’m to become truly successful at getting Nothing done.”
“Dear Steve Jobs how long will it take you to copy #google+ and call it magic?” – I found this tweet hilarious
“Is #Google+ making you guys re-evaluate your friendships?”