Facebook and Google should be nominated for award-winning roles in the most dramatic competition of the year. With these two mega-corporations constantly in the spotlight, it’s only natural for fans to feel the need to duke it out in a brawl between popular networking platforms Facebook and Google+. But is there really even a competition?
Facebook Steals The Show
Facebook made its first appearance in the social media market during February of 2004, reinventing the way the world connects. Within a matter of months, Myspacers forgot about their beloved friend and founder of the platform, Tom, and took a huge step into the new age with Mark Zuckerberg. What was so amazing about this new social media platform?
“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.”Mark Zuckerberg
Users enjoyed the ease of connecting with friends and relatives through messaging and sharing capabilities on Facebook, not to mention the sleek design of the site. Facebook quickly grew as a highway for social traffic from image sharing, posting, and messaging. The site now touts a whopping 1.5 billion users; and, despite frustrations with the infinite updates and face-lifts, Facebook users remain steadfast in their ritualistic use of the social media platform.
Google+ Steps Into the Ring
While persons with Facebook accounts busily adjusted to the shifts of the site and tested out other social media platforms, Google began developing and refining its own take on networking: Google+. However, the platform wasn’t exactly greeted with excitement. Before the release of Google+ in 2011, Google had attempted three short-lived trials at a social media platform: Google Buzz, Google Friends Connect, and Orkut. For good reasons, internet-users were more than skeptical about Google’s entry into the field, especially after being led on roller-coaster rides of emotions from eager hopefulness to disappointment with other social media fads. Even critics argued that Google’s late arrival to the social media game, and the population’s existing fondness of Facebook would lead to its failure as a platform,. After all, Facebook had stood its’ ground through the introduction of Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Vine, and more. What would make Google+ any different?
Plus 1 for Google+
Google incorporates networking capabilities across several areas: friends and family, colleagues, professional sectors, and even strangers(?). The idea may seem odd; however, this combination of unique groups of people creates an environment for endless content sharing, learning, and opportunities for real interaction. Functions on the Google+ platform offer:
- user organization through “circles” or personalized groups
- management of information via “communities” and pages dedicated to specific subjects
- user interaction and discussions in the form of “hangouts” which may be performed as video chats or messaging
- searching capabilities for users to discover new ideas
- the option for Google Authorship by linking your account and sites
It’s no wonder Google+ is at 500 million accounts and growing. That’s right! In January of 2013, Google+ even passed Twitter in the total number of users with even 235 million users noted as “active” in any given month. Traffic and interaction on Google+ has increased so drastically much over the past few years that analysts even go as far to consider the site as the “rival” of Facebook. But, I find this hard to believe. In fact, when it comes to making real connections, Google+ just isn’t as good as Facebook… It’s better.
Google, Plus an Endless Amount of Other Great Benefits
Before you get upset about this claim; understand that the platforms encompass two very different ranges of people and types of networking opportunities. Facebook may be a great place to connect with your old best-friends from high-school, or to get a good laugh in, but the platform often lacks in meaningful content and all-inclusive networking capabilities. For this reason, comparing Facebook and Google is essentially pointless. On Google+, you can find a variety of benefits such as:
- quality information sharing
- feedback, interaction, and the development of new ideas
- reputation management
- brand recognition
- SEO benefits through link building, authorship, promotion and a boost in traffic
The list goes on and on! If you haven’t launched your G+ account yet, or haven’t been utilizing it to boost your online presence, you are missing out on an opportunity that’s gleaming with infinite possibilities. But don’t just ask me, try it out for yourself. Come hang out with me on Google+ and you’ll see the difference!