In this corner, standing at just under eight years old and boasting over 800 million users, Facebook. And in this corner, standing at 7 months old and just over 90 million users, Google +. The heavyweight battle for your procrastination is set to begin.
Now obviously there is a favorite in this battle. To me this wasn’t Ali vs Frazier as much as it is Ali vs a child who found his dad’s pair of boxing gloves. I know that projections have Google + at over 400 million users by the end of 2012 but I don’t see it every really competing with Facebook. Facebook has a built in audience, a strong reputation and three Oscars. Google + doesn’t even have a Golden Globe. Facebook isn’t just a social networking site anymore, it’s an arcade and a movie theater.
Right now Google + can’t compete. It doesn’t have the prestige of Facebook and you can’t do the multitude of things on there that you can do on Facebook. It has a nice clean layout but it just seems boring compared to Facebook. There’s nothing on there right now that would make me want to keep coming back. They have some games but not enough that make me go wow I need to come back.
I think that’s why it has failed with college students, it doesn’t draw them in the way that Facebook does. Another reason college students haven’t accepted it is that it is essentially the same thing as Facebook. And why would I spend time building up a Facebook-like profile when I can just use Facebook. A third reason is that it doesn’t have that same feel of Facebook. It seems too mature and it takes itself too seriously. Facebook is more laid back and seems younger and hipper.
The benefits that Google + presents is the hangout feature which I don’t believe Facebook has an equivalent for. Also I enjoy the circles feature but you can pretty much do the same thing on Facebook. The layout is also more professional, which is why some people I know have joined. It seems to attract an older crowd though because of this. The one thing that could benefit Google + down the road however is consistency. I think everyone can agree that Facebook’s constant updates and layout changes are maddening. Just when you get used to one layout they completely change it around. Facebook could ultimately be responsible for its own demise if it keeps messing around with its look every two months.
While I don’t know if it’s necessary to have two websites that do pretty much the exact same thing, I do see why people should be on both sites. Our generation is looked at as the geniuses of social media. We are expected to know everything about everything. So when it comes time for a job, particularly in a mass communications field, it’s important to be up to date on every social media site out there.