Search giant Google may have finally caught up with social networking – and thus, Google+ – but the media still couldn’t get over the Google+ vs Facebook comparison. Demand for invites on the new social network is reportedly on the rise and reviews are mostly positive with regards to serviceability. But we may ask: Do we really need Google+? Can it really offer more than what Facebook already provides? We’ll find out in a bit.
Google+ vs Facebook, Round 1: Environment
Since Google+ has just revamped its layout and has made it strikingly similar, even almost identical, to that of Facebook – with the cover photo, the navigation ribbon on the left-pane that can now be rearranged, the chatbox on the bottom-right of the screen and a few other things – Google+ should be pretty easy and comfortable to navigate.
Facebook, though, has something more: the events and games notifications, which Google+ has yet to offer up.
Google+ vs Facebook, Round 2: Profile
Google+ uses a profile layout that is somehow taken after the old layout of profiles in Facebook – at that time when timelines weren’t shoved into our faces yet. What gives it a little spice is that the user can have multiple profile pictures and it can be viewed one-by-one by clicking the image.
As for the new Timeline in Facebook, you’ve got the single profile picture at a time, and your cover photo beside it. Below it are boxes that contain a few key information about the user, typically the ones for friends and photos follow and other stuff, but it can also modified and rearranged according to what stuff you want to be displayed on that bar.
Google+ vs Facebook, Round 3: Groups
With Google+, it is compulsory for users to sort out “friends” into groups that they call “circles”. As for Facebook, they have already made this option available to users long from the start, but they have given them more freedom in choosing to group them or not.
Google+ vs Facebook, Round 4: Photos
Photo presentation is a very important point in this face-off, especially since it is the first thing that users look at on their new friends’ profiles.
Images are displayed on Google+ in a one-by-one layout, not quite convenient for scanning through a lot of photos.
On the other hand, Facebook displays photos on albums with a grid layout and clicking one particular photo and scanning from there on will give you the one-by-one view. Good for skipping to selected photos only, especially for albums with loads of pictures.
Google+ Perks: Hangouts and Sparks
Hangouts is basically somewhat similar to Skype in a way that it allows users to video chat in groups, with as many as ten people participating. But it could have a lot more going for it. For instance, video-viewing on YouTube together with friends online could be a really good way to pass the time – or waste time.
Sparks is like that gadget on Windows where it stays on some corner of your desktop and serves you the latest headlines – only this one gives you news articles according to things you are interested the most.
Facebook may not yet allow group video-chatting and news that are served from other social networking sites, but it offers you something else that could keep you in front of the screen for hours, if not all day: Games. Zynga and EA are some of the hosts that give users interactive games on Facebook.
Google+ vs Facebook: The Rumors
Rumor has it that Google+ will offer more applications through Chrome Web Store. If the rumors are true, Google+ could surely own up in the long run.
As for the final verdict to the questions above, you’ll be the judge of that.