“For all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fulness thereof.”
Doctrine and Covenants 29:24
While this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants refers to the change to take place at the beginning of the Millenium, I believe it applies to all temporal things, including social media websites. Even well-established social media sites like Facebook will one day pass away.
For a long time, Facebook has dominated social media. Facebook.com began in 2004. As of June 2012, Facebook has more than 955 million active users. Facebook is by far the largest social media website in the world, beating LinkedIn (175 million users), Twitter (500 million active users), Google Plus (150 million active users) and Myspace (25 million users).
Though Facebook is currently the industry leader for social media, some think Google Plus could beat Facebook. After all, Google has the benefit of learning from Facebook’s mistakes and creating a better social media site to fit user needs. So, it seems that it will come down to Google Plus and Facebook. Who will dominate the social media world in five years? Google Plus or Facebook?
Here are 14 reasons Google+ could replace Facebook as the dominate social media site.
Google Plus or Facebook?
14 Reasons Google Plus could beat Facebook.
1) Google Plus has Hangouts, Facebook has video calling.
In a hangout, up to ten people can join a real-time video chat with each other. Any Google Plus user can create a Hangout, invite others to join, send messages and share YouTube videos. Facebook’s video calling is powered by Skype and allows one-on-one video chats. Facebook does not offer free group video chats.
2) Google Plus has hashtags, Facebook doesn’t.
While the newsfeed in Facebook allows users to receive updates from their friends, pages and groups, Google+ allows users to separate news material by topic. Google Plus’s hashtag allows Google Plus users to categorize what their posts are about. Google Plus users can use a hashtag to follow thousands of topics. Up to now Facebook does not support such easy navigation of content on the web with hashtags.
3) Google Plus has circles, Facebook has friends.
Only major distinguishing feature of Google Plus from Facebook is that Google Plus allows users to sort their friends, acquaintances, coworkers and other contacts into Groups. Thus when a Google+ user wants to share information intended for only some contacts, they can limit who will see the information they share. Although Google Plus allows other Google Plus users to see how many groups a Google Plus user is in, it keeps confidential what groups Google Plus users have put others in.
While Facebook Groups allow custom privacy settings, group members see the other members of the group and the type of group they’ve been added to. In Google Plus, people in an user’s Circle are only visible to the person who created the Circle.
4) Google’s +1 button is more better than Facebook’s “like” button.
While Facebook’s “Like,” button connotes the users likes the information shared, Google’s +1 button is more generic. For example, a +1 button indicates a user recommends others see the information they +1′d. It doesn’t necessarily connote that the user feels good or bad about the information. For example, in order recommend a story about a local crime to my friend, I’d much rather click +1 than “like,” because in reality I don’t “like,” the fact that crime exists.
5) Google Plus allows you to get more updates than Facebook.
While Facebook only allows users to receive updates from people they’re friends with, Google Plus allows users to see updates from people they aren’t yet following, who are following them. These extra updates may make it easier to grow one’s social connections.
6) Google Plus Hangouts are more open than Facebook Chats.
Google Plus Hangouts are more open than Facebook Chats. While Facebook Chat only allows friends to chat together, Google Plus Hangouts allow people who have you in their circles to join Hangouts. And again Google Hangouts can host up to ten people, whereas Facebook Chat offers a more one-on-one experience.
7) Google Plus connects to Google applications- Facebook doesn’t.
Since Google Plus integrated with Gmail, it has the advantage of reaching potential users who use Gmail several times each day. Gmail has 425 million active users. A Google account also gives its users access to dozens of free web services and products, including Google Calendar, Google Play, Google Documents, Google Search, etc. It’s convenient to have one Google sign-on and access to dozens of Google services.
8 ) Google Plus allows users to search easier than Facebook.
In Google Plus, users can search for relevant people and posts within Google Plus. Google Plus also makes it easy for users to search what is currently popular on Google Plus. Also, Google Plus users can have personalized search results when they use Google search. Facebook does not offer such easy ways to search for information.
9) Google Plus has a better photo editor than Facebook.
While Facebook allows its users to reposition photos, Google’s Creative Kit is a full-blown online photo editor within Google Plus.
10) Google Plus offers more reviews than Facebook.
Google Plus is integrated with Google Plus Local, which allows its users to post public photos and reviews of locations. While Facebook has fan pages, it doesn’t have a review service like Google+ Local.
11) Google Plus Events is challenging Facebook Events.
Google revealed Google+ Events on June 27, 2012. Google Plus Events allows Google users to invite others and share media in real-time from events. Although more people use Facebook events to announce weddings, birthdays, etc., there is a growing trend to use Google Events for announcements.
12) Google Plus has a lighter feel to it than Facebook.
Although this is a rather subjective observation, it’s nonetheless true. Google Plus has a lighter feel to it than Facebook. While Facebook is very familiar to it users, Google Plus has a cleaner appearance. Google appeal to simplicity and ease of use could lead more people to switch from using Facebook to Google Plus.
13) Google has more revenue than Facebook.
Since Google makes more money than Facebook, more money could be invested into Google Plus, than Facebook. In 2011, Google made about $38 billion, while Facebook made only $3.7 billion in revenue- only one-tenth.
14) Google has more overall influence than Facebook.
While Facebook has a wonderful social network and some cool apps, Google had released dozens of well-established and varied services and products- Google Offers, Google Earth, the Nexus 7 tablet, Google Maps, etc. Google is still the largest giant in the internet.
One major reason Facebook may beat Google Plus.
1) Users spend less time on Google Plus than Facebook.
One major reason Facebook may remain the king of social media is Facebook users spend much more time on Facebook than Google Plus users on Google Plus. Mashable’s Todd Wasserman said that while Google Plus users spend only 3-5 minutes per month on Google Plus, Facebook users spend over seven hours on Facebook per month.
“Google+ is not going away. Google is placing the full force of its buying power behind Google+ and doing what is necessary to make it a solid competitor in the social sphere.”
- Kelly Yauk
Personal Notes: I love the opportunities social media opens. With social media it is now possible to meet and share ideas with almost anyone. One of the greatest rewards I get from running this blog is knowing that my ideas can (if only in a very small way) influence the lives of others (hopefully for the best!). While I love Google and Facebook, I realize these companies are temporary and will pass away as all companies will. I think the only organization that will not eventually dissolve is the Lord’s restored kingdom on the Earth.