Facebook vs. Google Plus: The Basics

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Now that we know what Google + is and have a good sense of how it works, we will start looking at various aspects and compare them with Facebook.


  Facebook Google +
Can write a status Yes Yes
Can add a photo Yes Yes
Can ad a link Yes Yes
Can add a video Yes Yes
Can add a poll Yes No
Can control who sees the post Yes Yes
Can edit a post after sharing No Yes
Can share posts Yes Yes
Can disable reshare No Yes
Can disable commenting No Yes

Google + currently lacks in a capability that Facebook has integrated in their network. The ability to add plug ins to make different types of posts – one is the included ‘Questions’ tab which allows people to poll the entire Facebook community with a few clicks.

However, with time, Google + is expected to accept apps of its own and this could probably include plug ins.

The biggest aspects that Facebook was missing is the new stuff that we find in Google +. Each of them pertain to privacy. If you want to make sure that your friends and only your friends see something, only Google + can do it as you can disable reshare which prevents your friends from spreading it around if they wish to.

Another thing that Facebook lacks is aid for the typos and edits in life. In Facebook, when you share your post, it is shared, only way to go back is to delete the post and start over. In Google + however,, you can edit your posts to find that typo or misspelled word and fix it. Or perhaps you made a mistake somewhere and didn’t want to say x or y, Google +’s ability to edit statuses and comments is flawless. While Facebook does give a few seconds after entering a comment to reopen it, it is nothing like the commenting system that is built into Google +.

Private Messaging (Built in email)

  Facebook Google +
Can Private Message Yes Only if enabled by the person you want to speak to
Can write text Yes Yes
Can receive messages within Network Yes No
Can add attachments Yes No

Facebook has a large advantage over Google + when it comes to private messaging. Facebook is so well established with it that soon you will have an @facebook.com email address and extra features in your messaging – if you don’t already. What is disappointing is that Google+ is made by the same people who made Gmail and they insist on sending you to Gmail to get messages rather than alert you or allow you to integrate that into Google +. In Facebook, you can decide who can email you but your friends generally can always email you. In Google +, on the other hand, email is disabled by default and you need your receiver to activate it – and then when they get your message, they will be forced off of Google +.

Google + is in beta so we won’\t condemn them for it yet, but hopefully they manage to integrate some kind of usable and universal mail system into Google +. While you can use the stream to private message in posts, it isn’t the same as the familiar and widely used email system.


  Facebook Google +
Change Email Yes Yes
Add Phone Yes Yes
Modify Notifications Yes Yes
Download Data Yes Yes
Connect other accounts No Yes
Control language Yes Yes
Delete the Account Easily No Yes
Edit your Name Yes – but will be screened Yes
Edit your URL Yes No
Edit Details of your profile Yes Yes

Google + des a very good job at mimicking Facebook’s settings while placing them in more convenient places and adding details that Facebook doesn’t have.

Google + assigns you an ID number in your link and you are stuck with it. Facebook does the same, but, it allows you to add a username and you can give out the link: facebook.com/username to get to a page or person.

It is easier to change your name in Google + than in Facebook where Facebook tells you that it will verify the name change and reject things that aren’t names.

Google + will allow you to connect other accounts to your profile in an attempt to try to make Google + a universal profile that is a layer above your others. You can add Twitter and Facebook and people from Google + can access these profiles if you let them. This is something Facebook wont do – although, you can – with an app – have Facebook statuses be relayed to Twitter.

One of the biggest problems with Facebook is that if you decide that it is dead to you, deleting it isn’t an option. Facebook will deactivate your account, hold your information and allow you to ‘change your mind’. Google + on the other had doesn’t have that option at all, they will allow you to delete Google + and keep the rest of Google or even delete all of your Google services in one place very quickly.

While Facebook has the same controls as Google + concerning privacy, we shall not forget that if you use apps on Facebook, its developers get access to your information. Even though Facebook added the warning where you can control what is given, many apps simply won’t work if you don’t give it all. When Google + makes its Google + app structure for its games and apps, hopefully, they will find a way to make apps universal and not reliant on user data.


Google + is only in beta and it is already outperforming Facebook with its clever new features, both big, small and hidden under the wrappers. My initial criticism of Google + was that no one would join it as they are already stuck to Facebook. Many of my friends won’t be making the switch – I tried convincing them – but that doesn’t stop life from proceeding where I will likely meet my new friends in Google + which to date is 10 million people strong and growing exponentially fast.

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