Why Google Gets Social Better Than Facebook

Google Gets Social

Google and Facebook have grown up with very different philosophies and very different approaches to their businesses.

  • Facebook is highly focused around a single property. Google casts a wide net, simultaneously developing a whole library of offerings (including public R&D “Labs” projects).

  • Facebook regularly makes sudden changes to their service without giving users a chance to test them out first. Google regularly offers “previews” and extended trials.

  • Google frequently kills off projects that don’t seem to be getting the proper traction. Facebook seems to only cancel programs if there is a particularly big gaff, or if they release a replacement.

  • Facebook is the undisputed leader in social networks, with 750 million users and 7 years of experience. Google is the leader in search and web-based email, with a few social failures under its belt, a success in video-sharing, and 13 days of success in social networking.

So why do I say that Google “gets” social better than Facebook? It’s not because of any particular features in the new Google+. It’s because of the way I see Google itself using the nascent social network. Team members and product leads from various Google products are actively and aggressively using the social network to gather feedback and source ideas. I may be mistaken, but I don’t believe I have ever seen Facebook actively engage its users in the process of improving its products.

This is the key. It doesn’t matter how many geniuses Facebook can bankroll and put in a room (and we know Google has plenty of them on the payroll too), they will never be able to match the power of the crowd. Beyond that, when customers feel that they can have an impact on the products they use, you end up with a fan base full of evangelists, rather than just a group of users.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Technorati
This entry was posted in Business, Media, Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why Google Gets Social Better Than Facebook

  1. marlena francicso says:

    also ive never seen more excitement around a new social proerty in some time. people — and these people are masses not trendsetters or early adapters just people. its like people are lookign for somethign other than facebook. the timming seems righ for G+

  2. Lindsay T. says:

    There's actually a very specific feature that indicates Google+ gets it more than Facebook.

    In social networking theory, people maintain close and loose ties. Close ties are your best friends and family, loose ties are your acquaintances. You share different information with these ties, and the groups within.

    When adding a contact in Google+ you must add them to a "Circle" thereby defining the information you would like to share with them. Not everyone is a "friend" and not everyone needs to see all the information you post.

    While Facebook provides this ability in Friends Lists, it's not easy to set-up for veteran users who have hundreds of "friends". It took me 3 hours to reconfigure my lists, and I have to continually update them and the privacy settings for every piece of content I publish through Facebook.

  3. Hi Jeff, I do agree with you that Google+ is better than FB. To me it offers some great benefits.

    1. Google+ circles: With Google+ you can add other users into your “circles” (Google+’s categorisation of contacts) – you can have circles of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. – you can create a custom “circle” to better categorise your contact. This feature alone is better than Facebook in a sense that you can choose to share your updates to a specific circle or to public (all contacts in your circles.) With Facebook, you can’t simply determine who you are going to share your updates with.
    2. Google+ hangouts.
    3. Google+ will integrate other Google apps into the network little by little, turning it into a one-stop solution for either business or personal endeavours.

    Google+ is probably the most anticipated social network of all. I'm looking forward to be using it some my actions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>