Feature | Google Plus Vs Facebook; Which one has an edge...

Google launched its Facebook rival, Google+. The search giant's new launch has created a lot of stir in the technology world with its attempt to change "real-life sharing".

Google's new project offers features that increase real-life sharing among users. An interesting new feature to look out for is "Hangouts', which allow face-to-face real-time chatting between many people. Another engaging feature is "Huddle', which would allow group messaging between a group of people, or what Google calls, a "Circle'.

Rajiv Dingra, CEO and Founder, WAT Consult, said in his blog, "On the features front Google has tried its best to be innovative. Even the names of the features are trendy like "Huddle', "Sparks', "Circles' and "Hangouts'. All these features can be compared to existing ones on Facebook, for example, Circle is a friend categorizing feature or "how do you know this person' feature in Facebook, while Huddle is nothing but the friend chat already available on Facebook. The new or so-called different feature is the video chat called Hangout. Photo sharing again is common. I believe Facebook will be tracking this project closer than anyone else as it's known to learn quickly from competition. It did so by adding real-time feed and @tagging from Twitter even before it took off in a big way on Twitter."

But are these features enough to attract people from the already established Facebook? And also in such a Facebook dominant era where will this new initiative stand?

Ashok Lalla, President ' Digital, Euro RSCG, quoted, "There will certainly be trials of Google+ as people check out the newest Social Media offering on the block. Time will tell whether these trials will turn to loyal and regular usage, and if Facebook will be abandoned in favor of Google+. In the short term I think that is not likely, as a key driver of Social networks is having enough people there, and Google+ will certainly take a while to have the threshold of users that make up a socially active Social network."

Shubho Sengupta, Digital & Social Media Consultant, in his blog of Times of India said, "Why take on Facebook? It's not easy to take on a game changer - you can only do that if you have a game changer idea yourself. And Plus, in its current form, is not a game changer. But if you see it as a platform that will host many other platforms/tools."

Lalit Bhagia, Vice-President, Digital (Internet and Mobile), Star India Pvt Ltd said, "From the first look of it, Google plus to me is actually a facebook plus. What it does is that it addresses many of the problems with facebook. The design is more user-friendly, privacy is managed by which circles are fun , and also a brilliant way to group friends. The integration with the android mobile platform through the app is also nice for immediate sharing. The biggest win however is about being able to manage the privacy settings easily. Facebook, on the other hand, has yet to figure out how to implement proper privacy settings. But facebook has the big advantage of having 700 mn people hooked on to already, so if it is able to fix some of these issues, it will still continue to be dominant, else Google plus definitely has the potential to get that shift, as the needs both satisfy are the same."

If talking about the parameters on which consumers would shift from Facebook to Google plus then Ashok Lalla said, "The most important point is having enough people to connect with (starting with one's own existing social networks). In addition, greater flexibility to customize one's Social settings and interactions, enhanced privacy, newer and better user experience would also influence the 'trialists' to turn loyalists.

Lalit Bhagia also commented, "One of the things that might make me shift is the feature about capturing users' interest's i.e. Sparks. Quora mixes interest graph with the social graph and Google plans to mix these two to make the mother of all streams as one of the experts put it. One other feature I liked is the Video chat feature, though I think that is something facebook can introduce easily. So it's definitely fun spending time on Google plus, but will I switch completely? Depends upon how facebook changes over the next few months."

The drawback for Google is that it has a history of introducing stuff that doesn't pick up. One of the ways Facebook took over Orkut was actually social, peer pressure that it created among users. Suddenly it became important for people to be on Facebook, whether or not they were already using Orkut. | By Aanchal Kohli [aanchal(at)adgully.com]

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