Community or Collaboration: Google + vs Facebook

Google + vs. Facebook: the debate has begun online and offline, both sides come armed with some pretty strong ammo. Google+ joined the social arena earlier this month with beta testers and changed the game, as some may say, of social networking permanently.

Google +’s features may seem similar to Facebook’s at first glance. With chat functionality, status updates, multimedia sharing and group collaboration capabilities, the two social networks appear pretty similar on paper. Upon further examination of tools and functions, we see distinct differences.

Facebook defaults to allowing anyone that you have friended to start a chat with you. Let’s say you have 1000 friends than all of them can start an instant chat with you.

Google + does not default to giving everyone access to chat. You can choose who you invite to give that level of access to you. And the chat application is the tried and true Gchat.

Video Chat
Facebook has video chat and they have an agreement with Skype, but the chats are designed for one to one conversations.

Google + has “Hangouts” allowing you to video chat with up to 10 people at once. In a hangout you can also watch a video together and have a conversation about it. Hangout could be the new online collaboration tool. If you are part of a team that is not in the same place it could be a great way to keep people engaged during a call. I can see great opportunities for marketing teams to make use of this feature to solicit approvals or simple feedback on assets in production and that’s just the beginning.

Facebook treats all post equal in terms of how they are displayed within the news feeds. (top news and most recent)

Google + displays video posts with significantly more prominence than it does other types of posts.

Video in the Google feed

Group Collaboration
Facebook does not have an application designed for real-time group interaction.
Google + has Huddles a very simple way to start a group chat with anyone in your circles. It is easy to start a chat and stay engaged in the conversation. Another nod toward group online collaboration, making it easy to connect on a project, budget approvals or a quick team meeting.

Here we won’t do the head to head comparison but with Google + sitting on top of Google’s robust search engine there are several questions that come to mind. Will your Google + posts boost your Google rankings?

Google + surely steps out in front when it comes to team and group collaboration. Whether you want to bring people together, around the corner, or across the pond the tools are there and make it much more compelling to participate.
As you think about the debate what side do you see yourself gravitating towards?