The Final Showdown: Google+ vs. Facebook, Which One Is REALLY The Best?

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The Final Showdown: Google+ vs. Facebook, Which One Is REALLY The Best?

It’s an age old dispute (well, a couple of years old, anyway): what's best, Facebook or Google+? Even only at MakeUseOf, we can’t quite agree. While my colleague Erez stated 18 months ago that Google+ will need over Facebook in two years (time’s almost up!), I had my doubts.

When it comes to social networks, especially big ones like Facebook and Google+, all of us have our opinions. Some think Facebook is way better due to its larger users list. Others think Google+ is better because of the company's slicker interface, or as it’s, well, owned by Google, which can be considered by many less evil than Facebook.

But when push comes to shove, what type is actually the higher social network? Which has better interface? Better messaging options? Profile customizations? News feed? When it comes right down with it, which social networking really wins? It’s time to get a truly serious comparison, at the end of which we’ll have a definite answer, forever.


Interface


Interface is one of the most important points when utilizing any service. Is it nice to consider? How easy is it to understand? Are frequently used features accessible enough? Let’s see how Facebook and Google+ compare.

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Google+ has been through many interface changes since its launch in June 2011, and also the current the first is pretty slick. Your news stream is quite customizable, with two different layouts to select from, and simple filtering as outlined by your circles. It’s easy to see how many people already +1ed or shared a certain posts, and little avatars at the bottom of each post provide you with a glimpse of who people are.

Images inside your feed come in varying sizes, but some show up in a very large format, giving you the full good thing about high-res photos. Videos and animated GIFs play inline, so you don’t need to click and search for a different page to watch them.

Each update tile is dynamic, and possesses two sides. Click an update’s hashtag (a lot of them have these as they’re added automatically by default) or view an update’s activity through the dropdown menu, along with the tile flips to show you related posts or every one of the update’s +1′s, comments, etc. This is nice, as it lets you view a lot of information while still remaining on your own news feed page.

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A collapsible toolbar around the left side from the screen allows you to navigate through the network. It is available it doesn't matter how far down you scroll, and automatically collapses whenever you’re not making use of it so save room.

Compared to this particular slick interface, Facebook seems almost outdated. There are no different layouts to select from, and also, since Facebook doesn’t have other services to place ads, Facebook ads are very prominent within your new feed. In fact, they undertake almost another of your screen.

facebook-interface

At as soon as, there’s not a way to filter your news feed quickly, eventhough it should be coming with the new news feed at some time. All it is possible to do for the time being is sort by “Top Stories” or “Most Recent”. Anything else mandates that you dig into Facebook’s options or use third-party filtering tools.

Looking at individual updates, it’s easy to observe how many likes, shares and comments each post has, and for some posts you can even hover in the number of loves to get a complete listing of who liked it. Images all come in the same size, and to get a bigger version, in order to play any videos, you ought to click and visit a different screen. Same is true of hashtags, that happen to be new to Facebook, and so barely used.

If you scroll your feed first minute, you’re very likely to hit at least one “suggested post”, or recurring referrals for the fact your mates like some brand or any other, prompting that you like it too. These also appear around the right side over the ads, instead of current events.

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Facebook’s navigation sidebar is quite cluttered, and be honest, rather useless (I never actually apply it). It’s also stuck for the top, in order soon while you scroll down you don’t gain access to it anymore. The top bar, however, is sticky, and gives you constant use of your settings, profile, notifications, friends requests, and the famous (or infamous) Facebook Graph Search, which we’ll get into shortly, or Facebook’s old search should you haven’t enabled Graph Search yet.

Winner: Google+, without a doubt. Facebook is planning a new news feed, but currently it’s left behind, as fundamental as that.


Profile


The initial thing you notice about Google+ profiles is the cover images. They’re huge, but curiously enough, most in the image is just not shown when you load the profile. Google+’s former cover images arrived a size probably the most images didn’t go with, so they’re now permitting you to upload huge images, but only show ab muscles bottom part unless you scroll up.

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Your profile is divided into different tabs: About, Posts, Photos, Videos, +1′s, and Reviews. You can control which tabs are visible to visitors through the settings (search for the word “tabs” to find it. More on that later). Posts may be the default viewing tab, and from this point you can change your profile image, cover image and, await it, change your name! Considering the Facebook name fiascos we’ve learned about, the ability to make positive changes to name the same as that is impressive. You can’t undertake it too often, though, and it will alter your name across your whole Google account, so be careful.

To edit the rest of your profile, head onto the About tab, and click on any one from the edit links. The editing dialogue is tab-based, and makes it very easy to determine who can see which part of the profile.

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The areas included in your profile are: People (which people you wish to see, that can see who’s inside your circles, etc.), Story (tagline, introduction, bragging rights), Work, Education, Places (where you’ve lived), Basic Information (gender, birthday, other names, relationship, etc.), Contact Information, Links, and Apps (if you should show an app card in your profile).

Facebook, as we know, doesn’t have profiles, but Timelines. The cover images on kinds partially scrolled down, but only a little, so most of one's cover image is really visible. Your Timeline is divided into: Timeline, About, Photos, Friends, and More. More actually includes much more, and features items like Likes, Places, TV Shows, Movies, Events, Groups, and Instagram.

facebook-profile

Things change somewhat if you start scrolling down your Timeline. First of all, when you go after dark ads on the left, your actual timeline suddenly appears, permitting you to browse your profile by year. Another change happens towards the top tool bar. The tab bar the thing is that under your cover image is just not sticky, but a different an example may be, along with the one features a toggle between your Timeline and About pages, plus a quick way to create a new status, photo, place, or life event.

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Your Timeline is divided into two columns which scroll separately, showing updates on the right and kind of summaries around the left.

Similar to Google+, you can change your cover image or profile image right here, and go for the About tab to edit additional information. The editing process is done on the About page itself: click on the Edit button for your section you want to edit, and add information around the spot. Click Edit again to improve existing information. No pop-up windows and tabs to traverse.

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Winner: Facebook, from the skin of the teeth. Yes, it’s more cluttered, but that’s part of its charm. It seems like something unique, while your Google+ profile is like just another profile on any old website. Both are all to easy to edit and customize, and the ability to see the profile by time is often a nice bonus for Facebook.


Chatting


When looking at chatting, both networks offer surprisingly similar features, but some difference do be noticeable. Google+‘s Google Chat, or Google Hangouts, sits on the right side in the screen to become called on if you need it and hidden whenever you don’t. The weirdest part from the Google+ chat is the fact that there’s no way to know who's online right now and who isn’t. It also chooses to teach you just some of the people on your own list, and it’s not clear what this is based on.

google -chat

Additional options include snoozing notifications, blocking people, deciding who can invite one to Hangouts, and calling phones. It’s also possible to gain access to per-person settings, enable and disable notifications for the children, archive your logs together, etc. A chat window can be popped out to a different window, which means you can use it independently in the Google+ window. And of course, there’s group video chats in Hangouts, and Hangouts On Air where it is possible to watch random people in video Hangouts.

Facebook‘s chat appear in a choice of the Facebook sidebar, which also includes the news ticker, and if you choose to disable it, as a collapsible window. It’s easy to see who’s online right now, and who’s available on mobile. You can also seek out any friend who not appear on the list to message them.

facebook-chat

Additional options include turning on chat for only some friends and not others, and turning off chat completely. You may also create group chats, and try your luck with video chats. Chat windows can not be popped out, but Facebook does possess a whole dedicated messaging page featuring your primary inbox and Other inbox, where all messages are saved, even if you’re offline.

Both networks possess a nice collection of emoticons, icons, and stickers, should you’re into that form of thing.

Winner: Tie. Facebook offers good offline messaging, and a more reliable way to observe’s online also to find all your mates in the chat. Google+ includes video Hangouts and calling phones, which can be killer features, inspite of the chat itself being somewhat bit confusing. In other words, if all that's necessary it to chat with friends, go along with Facebook.


Friends


This is most likely one in the biggest differences between your networks. Google+ has circles. Anyone can add you to their circles without you needing to authorize it or add it, and they're going to from then on see all your public posts. You may add anyone you want to your circles, and possess organize your friends as outlined by whichever circles you would like. This is very easy to build, and is a basic a part of how Google+ works. When you include a friend, you'll be able to immediately specify which circles they belong to. You could also rearrange things afterwards.

google -friends

Facebook‘s system works in a completely different way, and was patched up later on to resemble Google+ a little more. In short, you are able to add friends and so they can add you, however, you need to authorize one another, and friendship is mutual. If someone adds you and you authorize it, it indicates you add them. They are now friends and family, and may see all posts directed at friends. Later on, Facebook added a chance to follow people’s public posts without them the need to authorize it.

You can also create lists of friends such as Close Friends to make things more organized doing this, but doing is way more cumbersome and time intensive than on Google+, especially as these featured were added only recently, when many of us already had lots of friends.

facebook-friends

Winner: Google+. The circles method is simply far better for all concerned, even though it’s slightly less personal.


Posting Updates


Posting updates is a really important section of every social media, and the process has to be easy, fun, and seamless. Google+‘s update tile sits at the top of one's news feed or profile, and expands to the center as soon because you click it.

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From this window you'll be able to send text updates, add photos by dragging and dropping or by browsing your personal computer/Google+ photos, post a link, and share a youtube video either by finding on YouTube, posting one of the links to it or uploading it from your computer. From this dialogue, it is possible to also develop a brand new Google+ event and share it.

Who you share a post with is very easy to control. Simply start typing a reputation of a circle or possibly a specific friend to provide them, or choose from the dropdown menu or friends browser. You may also disable comments and reshares with a post with a simple click, send the update via email for a circles, and tag friends in updates with the @ or + signs.

Here again, Facebook looks almost outdated. The update widget sits on top of your news feed or profile, enabling you to instantly share text or a web link by pasting it in the box. To share a photo or a video, you ought to click the “Add Photos/Video” link, which then permits you to either upload photos or videos out of your computer, or create a fresh photo album. For a photo you'll be able to also click on the camera icon.

facebook-updates[4]

Each update can use a location and a mood, and you'll be able to tag users by clicking the top icon or with the @ symbol. When you are looking at who sees your site content, this is dependent upon whether you use Facebook lists or otherwise not. In general, it is possible to choose between public, friends, only you, custom (opens in the separate window), along with your lists. Even in the event you use lists, you can’t share a post with several lists, you need to choose one. You can’t control comments or share to some post from this point.

Winner: Google+. Much more flexibility, more options, and a lot easier to decide exactly who sees the update.


Adding Photo Albums


Both social networks are a great approach to share entire photo albums with friends. On Google+, you are able to access your photos tab in the left sidebar, and choose “Upload photos” to create a fresh albums. After you start being active . photos (by dragging and dropping or by browsing your computer), you can give your album an identity, and give your photos captions. You could also rotate your photos, choose the amount of photos you want to look at in each line, and order your photos as outlined by date taken or name, or by dragging them around because you wish.

google -photos

You will then tag people inside the photos should you want using a special wizard, and afterwards, a sharing wizard opens up allowing you to share the modern album with whoever you want. By default, photos you add are enhanced automatically by Google, but it’s easy to see the original version and revert to it in case you want.

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If you want to edit your photos further, the “Edit” button reveals an entire photo editor with your browser (requires Flash). In addition, you are able to download the complete album or selected photos, notice a slideshow, add the photo to an alternative album, and share the album via a public link. If you’ve used Picasa Web Albums in the past, dozens of albums have become here too, and it’s far better to make sure who they’re offered to. it’s obvious which album is offered to whom through the album page.

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Here, again, Facebook is just a little behind. To start, Facebook’s photo uploader requires Flash, and in case you choose not to have it installed on your own browser (in case you use Firefox just like me, for example), you’re going to need to use an alternative browser with this.

Facebook’s new albums process could be initiated in the news feed by clicking “Add Photo/Video” after which choosing to add a whole new photo album, or by going towards the Photos tab on your Timeline and clicking on “Create Album”.

facebook-photos

The window above will be the old uploader which doesn’t require Flash, but is incredibly tedious to use. If Flash is enabled, adding a new album will immediately open a browsing window for your personal machine, allowing you to choose your photos. You can write a caption for each photo, tag people in them, and add locations and times. You can supply the album a name plus a description, and order photos by name, date taken, or by dragging them around. You can also choose which photo will be the album’s cover. At no points could it be possible to rotate your photos, and that means you better you can keep them rotated before uploading them.

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When you’re done, choose who will see this album, and post the photos. Once that’s done, you'll be able to do back and edit them again by clicking edit, download single photos, turn photos into the profile or cover pictures, move to a different album, and get yourself a link for the album or a single photos. There’s nothing at all within the direction of photo editing, but you are able to highlight certain photos inside album to make them appear bigger within the mosaic.

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Winner: Google+. Both networks provide a nice interface, but Google+’s is merely better, and has many more features.


Controlling Privacy


Privacy is last, and never because it’s not important, quite about the contrary. Protecting your privacy is among the most important facets of social networking, and there’s no reason at all for privacy settings to get complicated.

Google, for reasons unknown, may be flying mostly individually distinct when it comes to privacy, and didn't receive half the amount of complaints and accusations as Facebook. This might be the main reason Google+‘s privacy settings are all in a very huge, unfathomable pile. These are part of your Google account’s general settings, and all reside under a single tab: Google+.

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Here you’ll find everything from who are able to interact with your posts, which notifications you receive as well as for what, your app permissions, which circles you share with automagically, what viewers can perform with your photos, what your profile looks like… you will get the picture. It’s all here, as well as the best way to locate what you’re trying to find is by using your browser’s classic Find function. Most with the settings you desire are probably there. Good luck finding them.

Facebook, on the other hand, are actually under attack for privacy concerns since the beginning, and has become working on simplifying its privacy settings for a long time. For this reason, now we have the Privacy Shortcuts menu right about the top toolbar, where you'll be able to control who sees your posts automatically, who can contact you, and who is able to’t.

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The rest of the settings are organized inside a way that makes specific settings fairly easy to locate, and definitely simpler to control than on Google+. It’s also much better to scan the settings to find out if anything new and surprising was added, and also to make sure everything is setup to your liking.

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Winner: Facebook. Social networks always cause privacy concerns, and Facebook can make it easier to comprehend where you stand.


So Which Is Better?


Summing all this up, we get a score of 4:2 in support of Google+, with one tie. In nearly every respect, Google+ currently offers better experience out in the two rival networks, although Facebook does win in Profile and Privacy, that happen to be pretty important.

The main reason many people still prefer Facebook is simple: it’s where people are. Why are people there? Probably because it was first. This can be a recursive argument, if we all proceed to Google+, that’s where individuals will be. But it’s not easy, and in the mean time, if you truly want to keep updated and also have an audience, you will understandably stay with Facebook (I know I do).

Tired of Facebook for reasons unknown? A slick, feature-rich and kind of lonely alternative delays right around the corner. It’s up to us to populate it.

Do you agree with all the final result? Is there an essential point we missed? When it comes down with it, which network does one prefer, and why? Let us know!


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