Sunday, February 1, 2015

Google plus Vs Facebook

Since the launch of Google Plus in June, 2011 this question has been going around  a lot in the social media circles. Let's try to make some sense of it. It is said that the huge rise of Facebook was threatening Google's business as it realised that precious surfing time for it's sites was being eaten away by Facebook. To counter that it came up with Google Plus. Google Plus is a product which seems to be a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogger and much more all combined.
                 Let us  compare  the two.

  • Number of Users: Google Plus has over a billion registered users as of now but only 359 million are active( using it at least once a month ). Facebook has about 1.23 billion active users. Moreover the time spent on the site is very different. Facebook users spent 6 hours and 15 minutes per month in November, 2013 compared to only 7 minutes per user for Google Plus.
  • Orientation: Facebook is used more for social updates between friends and relations. Google Plus is being used for connecting customers, employees, colleagues, peers and friends in the end.
  • Social Sharing: Google Plus and Facebook are both sites which foster social networking. However Google Plus facilitates users to look for people with similar interests or work and to connect with them in a focussed and easy manner. This is an extra feature which makes Google Plus very strong for business propagation. Facebook uses a general contact list for networking. 
  • Search Engine Optimisation : Since Google owns Google Plus therefore all the utilities of its famed search engine are available to Google Plus. Many users are using Google Plus for blogging since its visibility in various searches is very high compared to other such sites. Further Google has been tweaking its search algorithms in favour of authorship( available on Google Plus ) which further strengthens this trend.
  • Access : Facebook users remain within the realms of the website whereas for Google Plus since it is a part of the Google empire, its users( and potential advertisers ) can reach other potential markets like Youtube, Gmail, Blogger etc.
  • Social Vs Business uses : Facebook has business pages but given its focus on friends and relations it provides opportunity for businesses to share their virtues. Google Plus however promotes more business interaction as it allows people of similar nature or work or interests to be easily found and connected.
  • Hangouts Vs Chats : Google Plus allows multi user group interaction with free video connections and use of multimedia this is fantastic for business webinars and seminars. Facebook chats are limited in nature to either two way or group chats only.
  • Advertising : Google Plus has an advantage as Google uses its knowledge of users online behaviour to tailor its advertising campaigns. Google uses, compiles and analyses all such data and this is evident in our search patterns which seem to tilt toward our interests in a few days of Google usage. Facebook doesn't have this ability as of now.
Conclusion: To me comparing the two is not fair since both are aiming at a different type of usage. Facebook is more for social networking inside groups which are familiar to each other like friends, relations etc. There is a lot of sharing, chatting  and status updates in it. Google Plus on the other hand is primarily for business interactions. It is more focused on content, interest groups, and tools like hangouts for multimedia interaction. It allows for business networking  and relationship forming outside the immediate friendship groups. Also it is very useful from an advertising point of view.

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