Google+ versus Facebook

Google+ is out. In limited trials. So is it a facebook killer?  If you are not familiar with limited trials in the tech world, think of it as letting a select few people watch a movie premiere, so you can change the ending (if that’s possible) and also drum up publicity in advance of releasing to hoi polloi.

Since we move  around in the mysterious cognoscenti circles of the tech world (ahem), we received an invite  to check out the new social network from Google. Here are some first impressions.

The worlds don’t collide on Google+

Your family, friends, neighbors, the guy you met yesterday, the gal you have never met ever and your pet are all treated as equals on Facebook.  Let’s face it. Each of us has different worlds that we’ve created. From the world of family to relatives through acquaintances to people we simply transact with. Having them all in one network has never made sense. (But, that never stopped Facebook from acquiring 750million users, of which 200M+ login every day!) The worlds don’t collide in Google+. It lets you create umpteen number of “Circles” and create different worlds in which you can drop family, friends, acquaintances and relative strangers of various hues. This means that you can share certain things with only family and none others, and so on. This is how the real world networks work. This is definitely a plus.

Score: +1 point

Google+ is a one stop shop

It combines Facebook, Twitter, Email, Groups and a sophisticated private Chat room with video called “Hangout” in one place. None of this is radically new. With Google+, you can do it all in one place, and enjoy the convenience of having all your contacts in one place. In the tech world, they call this a ‘one stop shop’. Now, let’s think about it. Do we really want a one stop shop for fun things like social networking? Do you really like to eat at the same restaurant every time you go out? And, would you want to order Alu Paratha and Paneer Butter Masala from a guy named Madurai Murugan?

Score: -1 point

Google+ vs Facebook: Post office versus Disneyland

Google’s user interface has always been simple and minimal. Which makes it perfect for transactions like email and search. Not for fun activities like checking out your nephew’s first birthday pictures and idle gossip twittering among friends. The difference between Google+ and Facebook/Twitter experiences is the one between going to a post office and an outing in Disneyland.

Score: -1 point

Verdict

Final Score: -1 out of 3.  Time will tell if the world really needs another social network, that too from Google. In the battle between convenience and coolness, the latter often wins. Especially when teenagers and 20-somethings are involved.  This is a winner takes all game. There is no room for a number 2 in social networks. Zuckerberg can rest easy because he may have already won the game. If anyone has cause for mild worry, it’s probably Twitter at the moment.

If you are on Google+ or have been reading about it, do write and let us know what you think in the comments section.

18 Replies to “Google+ versus Facebook”

  1. Wrong!!

    On the one stop shop, of course I like to eat at the same place most of the days, say, a Geetha mess at Coimbatore or sangeeta at ra puram. Once in a while, I like to go to a fancy different place. Social networking has become a daily necessity – the fingers twitch to find out who's saying and doing what.. That being the case, I like the one stop "mani kadai" for everything from a gfk to acchu vellam, that too with a bit of credit thrown in!!

    Missed a few good things- think hangout is cool. So is sparks(and thats where google's prowess on search shows)…

    Me feels! google, after lots of false starts, have got this one right…. Might knock off a few billions off face book's incredulous valuations being quoted…

  2. Great points. I think where we differ is – though social networking is a daily necessity even more than reading the newspaper or even watching TV, I dont think that means we lower our expectations on the experience. I still like my Hindu delivered crisp at 6AM with color photos on the front page..  Social networking is like going to a wedding or a party. We want to dress up and put on a good show! And, we'd like the venue of the party to be a little jazzy, and not like the roadside chai shop.. 

    You're right that I had referred to Hangout in passing and not done justice to it. At the end of the day, it is a sophisticated chat room with video conferencing. It's not new. I'd describe it as table stakes. You can't play this game without that. Have nothing against Google and I don't have a dog in this fight. Just that G+ is just not that compelling at the get go.

    Whichever this goes, the social networkers of the world are going to gain, which is the coolest thing about Google entering the fray. 

  3. Great points. I think where we differ is – though social networking is a daily necessity even more than reading the newspaper or even watching TV, I dont think that means we lower our expectations on the experience. I still like my Hindu delivered crisp at 6AM with color photos on the front page..  Social networking is like going to a wedding or a party. We want to dress up and put on a good show! And, we'd like the venue of the party to be a little jazzy, and not like the roadside chai shop.. 

    You're right that I had referred to Hangout in passing and not done justice to it. At the end of the day, it is a sophisticated chat room with video conferencing. It's not new. I'd describe it as table stakes. You can't play this game without that. Have nothing against Google and I don't have a dog in this fight. Just that G+ is just not that compelling at the get go.

    Whichever this goes, the social networkers of the world are going to gain, which is the coolest thing about Google entering the fray. 

  4. Hi
    Congratulations! The Directory of Best Indian Blogs is out and your nice blog figures in that. We thought, let's announce that to you.
    Since all blogs do not have emails clearly mentioned, we have taken the liberty of telling you of this by making a comment on your latest blogpost. Hope, you don't mind it.
    Happy blogging!

    ITB team

  5. Hi
    Congratulations! The Directory of Best Indian Blogs is out and your nice blog figures in that. We thought, let's announce that to you.
    Since all blogs do not have emails clearly mentioned, we have taken the liberty of telling you of this by making a comment on your latest blogpost. Hope, you don't mind it.
    Happy blogging!

    ITB team

  6. Hello ITB team, this is great news. To be ranked in the Directory of Best Indian blogs is a huge boost to Laughing Gas's efforts to spread five minutes of weekly cheer in our reader's lives! A lengthier appreciation note is on its way to via email.

    Thanks again, and congrats to all the other blogs included in your ranking. cheers!

  7. Hello ITB team, this is great news. To be ranked in the Directory of Best Indian blogs is a huge boost to Laughing Gas's efforts to spread five minutes of weekly cheer in our reader's lives! A lengthier appreciation note is on its way to via email.

    Thanks again, and congrats to all the other blogs included in your ranking. cheers!

  8. I am not even that impressed with the Facebook interface.  I think the GMail interface is primitive (compared to say Yahoo Mail which I use).  Don't get why some Google Apps are so barebones when they are capable of turning out things like Google Docs.  

  9. I am not even that impressed with the Facebook interface.  I think the GMail interface is primitive (compared to say Yahoo Mail which I use).  Don't get why some Google Apps are so barebones when they are capable of turning out things like Google Docs.  

  10. Daraius, the minimalistic experience epitomizes Google's philosophy of keeping things simple! Just the way they operate. G+ claims to have added 20M users as of last week. Given they have a captive audience of 100M+ gmail users, it could go far. Let's see.

  11. Daraius, the minimalistic experience epitomizes Google's philosophy of keeping things simple! Just the way they operate. G+ claims to have added 20M users as of last week. Given they have a captive audience of 100M+ gmail users, it could go far. Let's see.

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