Google+ has been flooding invites into the social sphere for its beta. Users everywhere seem to be impressed with all the new features, and some have even dubbed it “The Facebook Killer”. Will Facebook go the same way as MySpace and Friendster? We will soon find out. There hasn’t been a battle for control like this since Jacob vs. Edward.
Before we get into whether Facebook will be completely crushed, let’s compare some of the features that make each network unique.
Google+ has a new feature called Hangouts. Anybody who you choose to share the hangout (on mobile it’s called a huddle) with can join in at any time. The good part about the hangout is that you can all use video chat. It is not required of course, but it definitely adds to the experience. As you talk, the main video displays the user who is talking, and mutes the video of the surrounding people. If you choose to share videos through this interface (such as YouTube), the video overtakes the main video and sends the webcam videos to the bottom, allowing you to still see and talk over the video while discussing. This is a great feature for a social website, and probably one of the best features about Google+. You can even chat with up to 20 people at the same time.
Note: Facebook just began to integrate Skype into Facebook, and it will allow a lot of the same features. This will obviously be better than the old Facebook Chat. Check out our coverage here.
Google+ has circles. Circles are basically lists that you put your friends into. It allows you to muffle others posts, share with them, or restrict content they have access to. It is a much easier way to share content than normal Facebook lists and requires no extra thought in doing so.
Much like AdSense with ads, content is generated based on what you have liked, disliked, blocked, or added on your “Sparks”(which is generated content on the sidebar based on your set interests). This allows for a much more diversifiable wall, instead of continuous clutter, like a lot of Facebook fans deal with.
One of the greatest features is the ability to delete Google+. It takes two clicks, and you are done, and everything you’ve said and done is wiped off the account forever. No more not getting hired for a job because of a picture of you holding a beer back in 2003.
However, before you make the complete move over to Google+, you have to realize that Facebook does have some advantages. Although I would normally consider this to be to the advantage of Google+, Facebook has games, and a lot of users like the apps and the games that come a long with the network.
Facebook also has better event control. You can invite everyone to an event just by clicking on them, whereas with Google+, you have more of a restricted control. This is probably an area that Google+ is working on, but for now, Facebook stays in the lead.
Why not switch now?
Facebook has been putting some pretty big lockdowns on transferring content over. It has basically gotten rid of every single workaround to port your contacts over to Google+, with the exception of using Yahoo. Facebook has claimed that this is their property, and using a third party application to move over contacts, pictures, links, etc., is a violation of terms. This being said, moving pictures is easier to move right now, but will probably be locked down later (using Picasa).
Google+ has limited invitations. I was lucky to snag my invite early, but a lot of people are still having trouble getting in due to lack of invites. Soon enough, my friends.
Facebook is a good social network; it does all the main things a social network is supposed to do. They were originally good because they were clutter free and streamlined, the opposite of MySpace. After they dominated them, they introduced ads, games, and everything else. Let’s just hope that Skynet… errr, Google, doesn’t do the same.
Everything else is the same. You are able to post, submit, upload and do basically anything you want. Facebook just happens to use Like, whereas Google uses +1. The rest is just getting started and connecting with your friends.
Note: Credit for the graphic at the top of the screen goes to Thomas. However, I felt I should post my version, and he agreed. Probably because his heart is made of black bile and broken golf tees. So here’s your double does of Twilight: