The need to social networking has never been this big. From being just a sheer frivolous means of passing time it has now grown manifolds; important contacts are maintained, businesses are carried out etc through social networking. Going by the massive surge in social networking, Google consequently launched Google+ three months ago, which after its testing stages was made available to the public only recently. In no time it holds near about 43 million users, interestingly dominated by the male human species. No matter how impressive the figures appear, they look trivial in front of the phenomenal success story of Facebook which now has over 800 million users and is still growing.
Besides the new features that Facebook introduced recently will put the users in the ultimate dilemma as whether to try the new Google+ or stick with the refreshing Facebook. A detailed comparison between the two is provided further here.
The Timeline and The Profile
The Facebook Profile is dead now; extinct! Rather it has transformed into Timeline. Timeline is a radically redesigned version of the profile page which illustrates the various facets and whereabouts of your life chronologically displaying the photos and the information provided by the people. Explaining the same change at a conference, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg compared the changes in profile to getting to know a stranger. The first five minutes of the conversation was in accordance with the original Facebook profile page, pertaining just to Name, school, work etc. With the addition of new features later on in the Facebook profile it was alike the next 15 minutes of the conversation primarily answering “what you have been doing lately.” The new change and the appearance of Timeline now represents “the next few hours of deep conversation”.
However Google+ is just sticking to the basics, keeping it to the humble basic information, a profile picture along with a few recent pictures. For the rest one may stalk the scrapbook.
Searching and Adding New Contacts
The glimpse of sweet rivalry between the two networking giants could be observed in the very fact that Facebook doesn’t let the direct importing of contacts with a Gmail account nor would the facebook contacts be imported to Google+.
However both networks allow people to find and add friends easily by typing names or by syncing with email contact lists. Facebook enables importing contacts from Windows Live, AOL, Outlook, Apple Mail and Yahoo email accounts along with dozens of smaller services such as Comcast.net. To add friends to Facebook, you’ll have to solicit their permission by sending a “friend request.”
Google+ users can find friends in the same way as Facebook by typing in names or syncing with an email account. No permissions are required from the people you add to Google+, letting you to freely follow celebrities and industry experts or your latest crush. However, only the public posts made by them will be visible to you unless they approve of your friend request.
The distinctive feature appears in categorizing the friends. Where in Facebook you will have to fair down the list of contacts and group them accordingly, revealing the information meant for a particular group only to them and keeping it secret from others, Google+ enables you to do the same at the very beginning by asking which circle, and prevents you from the long tedious task.
Google+ provides circles. To add a contact, you must designate one or more circles for that person. By default, Google+ offers friends, family and acquaintances. New circles can be added simply by renaming the blank circle Google provides in its array. Circle options are used as a simplified communication and privacy method once you begin posting.
Posting and Privacy
Facebook offers you a plethora of categories to share your whereabouts with the exact little details like the location (via Bing maps), date, people you were with and also a photograph. The a newly modified box for making posts offers status, photo/video/webcam, location and a detailed range of life events intended at narrating the entire personal history. Display a new job or a new diploma/degree you achieved through the Work and Education tab, Family and Relationships less you demonstrate any new addition in the family, or your own current relationship status, Living for buying a new house, Health and Wellness to share the dose you get for your super man (read: reckless) antics or any genuine health issue and Milestones for miscellaneous achievements.
Posting on Google+ is similar, but without the lifestyle choices or webcam option. Each post can include a photo, a video or a link along with text. Location can be added if your browser settings allow Google to access it. An intriguing feature is that Google+ lets the posts to be edited after posting, a feature that Facebook does not support. Google+ also allows posters to disable sharing of a post by other members.
Once the post is complete, you must specify which circles will see your post. You can also designate a post as public which will be open to all the members and it will be searchable by the entire Google+ users. Posts in Facebook are not searchable, but in Google+ they are.
Thus the choice between the two appears quite confusing. However not making a choice and sticking with both is also a choice.