Monday, December 3, 2012
Google+ is not Facebook
When someone sees me using Google+, I am usually asked what is it and after I tell them that its a social networking platform, they say "Oh, it's like Facebook". My reply is "No, its not like Facebook" and I deliver a long sermon about what makes it different. So here are a few takeaways.
Sure, Google+ may look like Facebook because it has a profile page, a news feed, like(+1), share and all the bells and whistles that will be present in any social networking site, but that is where all the comparison ends. I read this post on CNET how Google+ can thrive alongside Facebook. It is a well-written post that clearly tells apart the two different networking platforms. Just as Pinterest's popularity has not spelled death for Facebook, the same logic applies for Google+ too.
I have been an active user of Google+ ever since it launched in 2011 and I use it differently than Facebook. To me, Facebook is a closed social network that I use to keep in touch with my friends. By 'friends' I mean people whom I went to school(or college) with, my colleagues or in short, (only)people whom I know in the real world end up in my virtual world friend list. I neither send friend requests to strangers just because we have 5 mutual friends nor do I accept friend request from random strangers, even if it is from some beautiful girl. Fine, I made up that one. Gosh, I never get such requests, damn it!
On the other hand, Google+ is more like Twitter + Google Reader put together. I do not use it to socialize with my friends (well hardly any of them are there on G+) but rather to as a source of getting the latest tech news. Posts by guys like Mike Elgan, Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble, Verge,etc are awesome and some write exclusively on Google+. Though Twitter is also good for following trends, sometimes 140 chars seems too less to convey anything meaningful. Also another cool feature of Google+ is, it allows to share an entire blog post as a single status update, so it saves me the trouble of having to click the link and open it in a new window. So much work, Phew! Google+ introduced the feature to 'circle' a person to receive their updates without having to be their friend, something similar to the Follow feature in Twitter. This 'inspired' Facebook to introduce a Subscribe feature that lets people who have subscribed to see your public posts. But compared to FB, Google+ has better privacy controls about what information is shared. Also the interface is clean and ad-free (at least as of now) compared to the cluttered Facebook experience.
So, if you have not used Google+ till now then go ahead and give it a spin. It can be used to follow a lot of topics not just tech and might in fact let you discover your hidden passion. For the die-hard FB fans, there's a fair share of cat videos and rage comics circulating on Google+ too, so you won't miss your daily dose of humor. So give it a spin and let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: All ideas, thoughts or reviews published in this blog are my personal opinion and not that of my employer (Samsung).