After I heard that Google had developed its own social networking site, Google+, I had to check it out for myself and find out whether it has a chance at trumping Facebook (FB). As I created my own Google+ social networking account, I was hoping that it would pale in comparison to FB because I don’t want to have to make the move to Google+. However, even though I’m reluctant to admit it, Google+ has a ton of great features and just may knock FB off of the top of the social networking chain.
I’ve never been big on change, so the idea of having to pack up my FB photos and make the move to Google+ isn’t something I’m looking forward to. I have built a home on FB. I’m comfortable there; I have 556 friends, 869 photos and can navigate it with ease. On Google+, I have two friends, one photo and pretty much no idea what I’m doing. But after exploring the site and learning about what it has to offer, I’ve taken a liking to the possibilities it holds.
One unique aspect about Google+ is “Circles,” which allows users to separate friends into various circles, such as “Friends” or “Family.” When a user goes to make a post, they can choose what circles the post will be sent to. This feature also helps organize the posts that users’ circles are sending. If a user doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on the networking site, they can just check out their “Friends” circle. This feature is better than FB’s huge newsfeed, which offers everyone’s posts in one place.
Another feature that is unique to Google+ is “Hangout,” which allows users to hold video chats with multiple people at one time. Hangout is way beyond FB’s instant messenger system, which only allows two users at a time to type messages back in forth. FB is definitely missing the visual element and convenience that Google+ has incorporated into online chats.
Google+ also has a Games feature where users can play games from poker to sudoku. This feature is great because it supplies further entertainment, but it’s also a potentially negative addition because it offers even more ways to put off work and long grocery shopping trips.
What’s my absolute favorite part about Google+? It’s fast. The pages load in seconds and there’s no waiting for photos to upload. On a college campus, it takes about five minutes for a page to load and an hour to upload photos to FB.
Currently, Google+ pages are only for people looking to network. However, Google is working on developing business pages that will come out later this year.
The big question is: should you make the switch to Google+? I’d say wait awhile. Even though Google+ has over 50 million users, a lot of people still don’t know what it is, and those that do, haven’t left FB behind. When I ask people on campus about Google+, they either look confused or say they created an account for fun, but never use it.
I still can’t help but hope that FB comes up with new features that will be equivalent to, or even better than what Google+ has to offer. Even though I’ve had a good time exploring Google+, I’m loyal to FB and I’m not ready to move away.