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It’s an age old dispute (well, two years old, anyway): which is better, Facebook or Google+? Even here at MakeUseOf, we can’t quite agree. While my colleague Erez stated 18 months ago that Google+ will take over Facebook in two years Why Google+ Will Overtake Facebook In 2 Years Or Less [Opinion] Why Google+ Will Overtake Facebook In 2 Years Or Less [Opinion] Facebook has around 800 million users – that is more than double the population of the United States. But I am here to tell you why in two years, Facebook will shrink to become a... Read More (time’s almost up!), I had my doubts Why Google+ Will Not Overtake Facebook, Not In 2 Years, Not Ever [Opinion] Why Google+ Will Not Overtake Facebook, Not In 2 Years, Not Ever [Opinion] Before I begin let me just state that I am not against innovation, and I really do like Google+, usually even more than Facebook. But just because we like something better, doesn’t mean it’s going... Read More .

When it comes to social networks, especially big ones like Facebook and Google+, we all have our opinions. Some think Facebook is better due to its larger user base. Others think Google+ is better because of its slicker interface, or because it’s, well, owned by Google, which is considered by many less evil than Facebook.

But when push comes to shove, which one is actually the better social network? Which has the better interface? Better messaging options? Profile customizations? News feed? When it comes right down to it, which social network really wins? It’s time for a truly serious comparison, at the end of which we’ll have a definite answer, once and for all.

Interface

Interface is one of the most important points when using any service. Is it nice to look at? How easy is it to understand? Are frequently used features accessible enough? Let’s see how Facebook and Google+ compare.

google -interface

Google+ has been through many interface changes since its launch in June 2011, and the current one is pretty slick. Your news stream is very customizable, with two different layouts to choose from, and easy filtering according to your circles. It’s easy to see how many people already +1ed or shared a certain posts, and little avatars at the bottom of each post give you a glimpse of who those people are.

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Images in your feed appear in varying sizes, but some appear in a very large format, giving you the full benefit of high-res photos. Videos and animated GIFs play inline, so you don’t have to click and go to a different page to view them.

Each update tile is dynamic, and has two sides. Click an update’s hashtag (most of them have these as they’re added automatically by default) or view an update’s activity via the dropdown menu, and the tile flips over to show you related posts or all of the update’s +1’s, comments, etc. This is nice, as it lets you view lots of information while still remaining on your news feed page.

google -interface-2

A collapsible toolbar on the left side of the screen lets you navigate through the network. It is available no matter how far down you scroll, and automatically collapses when you’re not using it so save room.

Compared to this slick interface, Facebook seems almost outdated. There are no different layouts to choose from, and since Facebook doesn’t have other services in which to place ads, Facebook ads are very prominent in your new feed. In fact, they take up almost a third of your screen.

facebook-interface

At the moment, there’s no way to filter your news feed quickly, although it should be coming with the new news feed Facebook Changes Again: Check Out Your Re-Imagined News Feed [Updates] Facebook Changes Again: Check Out Your Re-Imagined News Feed [Updates] After several days full of guesswork, Facebook has finally announced its biggest change in a while: a brand new News Feed. You can filter your posts so you get to see updates from all friends,... Read More at some point. All you can do for now is sort by “Top Stories” or “Most Recent”. Anything else requires that you dig into Facebook’s options or use third-party filtering tools Cut The Crap, Facebook - Give Me What I Want To Read Cut The Crap, Facebook - Give Me What I Want To Read Every since its launch, we've seen Facebook change. And change. Again, and again, and again. While many changes are actually for the best, there's one thing these updates never fails to add to our news... Read More .

Looking at individual updates, it’s easy to see how many likes, shares and comments each post has, and for some posts you can even hover over the number of likes to get a complete list of who liked it. Images all appear in the same size, and to get a bigger version, or to play any videos, you have to click and go to a different screen. Same goes for hashtags, which are new to Facebook, and therefore barely used.

If you scroll your feed for one minute, you’re very likely to hit at least one “suggested post”, or recurring referrals to the fact your friends like some brand or other, prompting you to like it too. These also appear on the right side above the ads, in lieu of current events.

facebook-interface-2[7]

Facebook’s navigation sidebar is pretty cluttered, and to be honest, rather useless (I never actually use it). It’s also stuck to the top, so as soon as you scroll down you don’t have access to it anymore. The top bar, however, is sticky, and gives you constant access to your settings, profile, notifications, friends requests, and the famous (or infamous) Facebook Graph Search Facebook Rolls Out Graph Search To US Profiles [Updates] Facebook Rolls Out Graph Search To US Profiles [Updates] After spending months as an exclusive opt-in feature, Facebook's Graph Search feature is rolling out to US-only users on Monday. Graph Search is a tool that allows for users to conduct advanced searches such as... Read More , which we’ll get into shortly, or Facebook’s old search if you haven’t enabled Graph Search yet.

Winner: Google+, without a doubt. Facebook is planning a new news feed, but currently it’s left behind, as simple as that.

Profile

The first thing you notice about Google+ profiles is the cover images. They’re huge, but curiously enough, most of the image is not shown when you load the profile. Google+’s former cover images came in a size the most images didn’t fit into, so they’re now letting you upload huge images, but only show the very bottom part unless you scroll up.

google -profile[5]

Your profile is divided into different tabs: About, Posts, Photos, Videos, +1’s, and Reviews. You can control which tabs are visible to visitors through the settings (search for the word “tabs” to find it. More on that later). Posts is the default viewing tab, and from here you can only change your profile image, cover image and, wait for it, change your name! Considering the Facebook name fiascos Banned: What Happens When Facebook Doesn't Like You [Feature] Banned: What Happens When Facebook Doesn't Like You [Feature] When I interviewed Mark S. Zuckerberg, I thought that he was a charming, polite guy. When he talked, he did so with a typically Midwestern drawl. He has raised a large family and has a... Read More we’ve heard about, the ability to change your name just like that is impressive. You can’t do it too often, though, and it will change your name across your entire Google account, so watch out.

To edit the rest of your profile, head over to the About tab, and click any one of the edit links. The editing dialogue is tab-based, and makes it very easy to determine who can see which part of your profile.

google -profile-2

The areas included in your profile are: People (which people you want to see, who can see who’s in your circles, etc.), Story (tagline, introduction, bragging rights), Work, Education, Places (where you’ve lived), Basic Information (gender, birth date, other names, relationship, etc.), Contact Information, Links, and Apps (whether or not to show an app card on your profile).

Facebook, as we all know, doesn’t have profiles, but Timelines. The cover images on these are also partially scrolled down, but only a little, so most of your cover image is actually visible. Your Timeline is divided into: Timeline, About, Photos, Friends, and More. More actually includes much more, and features things such as Likes, Places, TV Shows, Movies, Events, Groups, and Instagram.

facebook-profile

Things change somewhat when you start scrolling down your Timeline. First of all, once you go past the ads on the left, your actual timeline suddenly appears, letting you browse your profile by year. Another change happens to the top tool bar. The tab bar you see under your cover image is not sticky, but a different one is, and the one includes a toggle between your Timeline and About pages, and a quick way to post a new status, photo, place, or life event.

facebook-profile-2[4]

Your Timeline is divided into two columns which scroll separately, showing updates on the right and sort of summaries on the left.

Similar to Google+, you can change your cover image and or profile image right here, and go to the About tab to edit additional info. The editing process is done on the About page itself: click the Edit button for the section you want to edit, and add information on the spot. Click Edit again to change existing information. No pop-up windows and tabs to navigate through.

facebook-profile-3[4]

Winner: Facebook, by the skin of its teeth. Yes, it’s more cluttered, but that’s part of its charm. It feels like something unique, while your Google+ profile feels like just another profile on any old website. Both are easy to edit and customize, and the ability to browse the profile by time is a nice bonus for Facebook.

Chatting

When it comes to chatting, both networks offer surprisingly similar features, but some difference do stand out. Google+‘s Google Chat, or Google Hangouts, sits on the right side of the screen to be called on whenever you need it and hidden whenever you don’t. The weirdest part of the Google+ chat is that there’s no way to know who is online right now and who isn’t. It also chooses to show you just some of the people on your list, and it’s not clear what this is based on.

google -chat

Additional options include snoozing notifications, blocking people, deciding who can invite you to Hangouts, and calling phones. It’s also possible to access per-person settings, enable and disable notifications for them, archive your logs with them, etc. A chat window can be popped out to a different window, so you can use it independently from the Google+ window. And of course, there’s group video chats in Hangouts, and Hangouts On Air where you can watch random people in video Hangouts.

Facebook‘s chat appear either in the Facebook sidebar, which also includes the news ticker, and if you choose to disable it, as a collapsible window. It’s easy to see who’s online right now, and who’s available on mobile. You can also search for any friend who does not appear on the list to message them.

facebook-chat

Additional options include turning on chat for only some friends and not others, and turning off chat completely. You can also create group chats, and try your luck with video chats. Chat windows cannot be popped out, but Facebook does have a whole dedicated messaging page featuring your main inbox and Other inbox, where all messages are saved, even if you’re offline.

Both networks have a nice collection of emoticons, icons, and stickers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Winner: Tie. Facebook offers good offline messaging, and a more reliable way to see how’s online and to find all your friends in the chat. Google+ includes video Hangouts and calling phones, which are killer features, despite the chat itself being a little bit confusing. In other words, if all you want it to chat with friends, go with Facebook.

Friends

This is probably one of the biggest differences between the networks. Google+ has circles. Anyone can add you to their circles without you having to authorize it or add them back, and they will from then on see all your public posts. You can add anyone you want to your circles, and have organize your friends according to whichever circles you want. This is very easy to set up, and is a basic part of how Google+ works. When you add a friend, you can immediately specify which circles they belong to. You can also rearrange things later on.

google -friends

Facebook‘s system works in a completely different way, and was patched up later on to resemble Google+ a little more. In short, you can add friends and they can add you, but you need to authorize each other, and friendship is mutual. If someone adds you and you authorize it, it means you add them. They are now your friends, and will see all posts directed at friends. Later on, Facebook added the ability to follow people’s public posts The Ins And Outs Of Followers & Following [Weekly Facebook Tips] The Ins And Outs Of Followers & Following [Weekly Facebook Tips] If you're not Facebook friends with a person, how can they see your updates on their home page? If someone is following you, how can you stop them? What is this following thing anyway? Facebook... Read More without them having to authorize it.

You can also create lists Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Is Facebook driving you crazy? Most people who use Facebook generally view the home feed in its unfiltered form, which means they're seeing updates from friends, acquaintances and pages all lumped in together and shown... Read More of friends such as Close Friends and make things more organized that way, but doing is far more cumbersome and time consuming than on Google+, especially since these featured were added only recently, when most of us already had lots of friends.

facebook-friends

Winner: Google+. The circles method is simply much better for all concerned, although it’s slightly less personal.

Posting Updates

Posting updates is a very important part of every social network, and the process has to be easy, fun, and seamless. Google+‘s update tile sits at the top of your news feed or profile, and expands to the center as soon as you click it.

google -updates

From this window you can send text updates, add photos by dragging and dropping or by browsing your computer/Google+ photos, post a link, and share a video either by finding on YouTube, posting a link to it or uploading it from your computer. From this dialogue, you can also create a brand new Google+ event and share it.

Who you share a post with is very easy to control. Simply start typing a name of a circle or a specific friend to add them, or choose from the dropdown menu or friends browser. You can also disable comments and reshares on a post with a simple click, send the update via email to your circles, and tag friends in updates by using the @ or + signs.

Here again, Facebook looks almost outdated. The update widget sits on top of your news feed or profile, letting you instantly share text or a link by pasting it into the box. To share a photo or a video, you have to click the “Add Photos/Video” link, which then lets you either upload photos or videos from your computer, or create a new photo album. For a photo you can also click the camera icon.

facebook-updates[4]

Each update can have a location and a mood, and you can tag users by clicking the head icon or by using the @ symbol. When it comes to who sees your posts, this depends on whether you use Facebook lists or not. In general, you can choose between public, friends, only you, custom (opens in a separate window), and your lists. Even if you use lists, you can’t share a post with several lists, you have to choose one. You can’t control comments or share to a post from here.

Winner: Google+. Much more flexibility, many more options, and much easier to decide exactly who sees the update.

Adding Photo Albums

Both social networks are a great way to share entire photo albums with friends. On Google+, you can access your photos tab from the left sidebar, and choose “Upload photos” to create a new albums. After you add some photos (by dragging and dropping or by browsing your computer), you can give your album a name, and give your photos captions. You can also rotate your photos, choose how many photos you want to view in each line, and order your photos according to date taken or name, or by dragging them around as you wish.

google -photos

You can then tag people in the photos if you want using a special wizard, and afterwards, a sharing wizard opens up letting you share the new album with whoever you wish. By default, photos you add are enhanced automatically by Google, but it’s easy to see the original version and revert to it if you want.

google -photos-2

If you want to edit your photos further, the “Edit” button opens up an entire photo editor in your browser (requires Flash). In addition, you can download the entire album or selected photos, view a slideshow, add the photo to another album, and share the album via a public link. If you’ve used Picasa Web Albums in the past, all those albums are now here too, and it’s best to make sure who they’re open to. it’s easy to see which album is open to whom from the album page.

google -photos-3

Here, again, Facebook is a little behind. To start, Facebook’s photo uploader requires Flash, and if you choose not to have it installed on your browser (if you use Firefox like me, for example), you’re going to have to use a different browser for this.

Facebook’s new albums process can be initiated from the news feed by clicking “Add Photo/Video” and then choosing to add a new photo album, or by going to the Photos tab on your Timeline and clicking on “Create Album”.

facebook-photos

The window above is the old uploader which doesn’t require Flash, but is very tedious to use. If Flash is enabled, adding a new album will immediately open a browsing window for your computer, letting you choose your photos. You can write a caption for each photo, tag people in them, and add locations and times. You can give the album a name and a description, and order photos by name, date taken, or by dragging them around. You can also choose which photo will be the album’s cover. At no points is it possible to rotate your photos, so you better have them rotated right before uploading them.

facebook-photos-2

When you’re done, choose who will see this album, and post the photos. Once that’s done, you can do back and edit them again by clicking edit, download single photos, turn photos into your profile or cover pictures, move to another album, and get a link for the album or a single photos. There’s nothing at all in the direction of photo editing, but you can highlight certain photos in the album to make them appear bigger in the mosaic.

facebook-photos-3

Winner: Google+. Both networks offer a nice interface, but Google+’s is simply better, and has many more features.

Controlling Privacy

Privacy is last, and not because it’s not important, quite on the contrary. Protecting your privacy is one of the most important aspects of social networking, and there’s no reason for privacy settings to be complicated.

Google, for some reason, has been flying mostly under the radar when it comes to privacy, and did not receive half the amount of complaints and accusations as Facebook. This might be the reason Google+‘s privacy settings are all in a huge, unfathomable pile. These are part of your Google account’s general settings, and all reside under one single tab: Google+.

google -privacy[4]

Here you’ll find everything from who can interact with your posts, which notifications you receive and for what, your app permissions, which circles you share with by default, what viewers can do with your photos, what your profile looks like… you get the picture. It’s all here, and the best way to find what you’re looking for is by using your browser’s good old Find function. Most of the settings you want are probably there. Good luck finding them.

Facebook, on the other hand, have been under attack for privacy concerns since day one, and has been working on simplifying its privacy settings Make Sure You're Secure With Facebook's New Privacy Settings - A Complete Guide Make Sure You're Secure With Facebook's New Privacy Settings - A Complete Guide Facebook also means two other things: frequent changes and privacy concerns. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Facebook, is that they’re not really concerned about what we like or our privacy. Nor should they... Read More for years. For this reason, we now have the Privacy Shortcuts menu right on the top toolbar, where you can control who sees your posts by default, who can contact you, and who can’t.

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The rest of the settings are organized in a way that makes specific settings fairly easy to find, and definitely easier to control than on Google+. It’s also much easier to scan the settings to see if anything new and surprising was added, and to make sure everything is set up to your liking.

facebook-privacy-2

Winner: Facebook. Social networks always cause privacy concerns, and Facebook makes it easier to understand where you stand.

So Which Is Better?

Summing it all up, we get a score of 4:2 in favor of Google+, with one tie. In almost every respect, Google+ currently offers the better experience out of the two rival networks, although Facebook does win in Profile and Privacy, which are pretty important.

The main reason most of us still prefer Facebook is simple: it’s where people are. Why are people there? Probably because it was first. This is a recursive argument, because if we all move to Google+, that’s where people will be. But it’s not easy, and in the mean time, if you truly want to stay updated and have an audience, you will understandably stick to Facebook (I know I do).

Tired of Facebook for whatever reason? A slick, feature-rich and kind of lonely alternative is waiting right around the corner. It’s up to us to populate it.

Do you agree with the final result? Is there an important point we missed? When it comes down to it, which network do you prefer, and why? Let us know!

  1. Jerry Tackett
    January 23, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Google plus needs streamlined a bit, it seems scattered about and confusing compared to Facebook. Facebook games gives them a bigger advantage then anyone wants to admit. I wonder if fresh planet is for sale, or has already been sold, and 6 waves, interesting. In social networking interfaces simple design is always better.

  2. Airplanespotting noneofyourbusiness
    January 20, 2014 at 1:05 am

    This is so biased it isn't funny.... I won't go into it but really, but unless you have the fastest internet on earth, G+ will take several minutes to download for me, Facebook is up in a snap. And generally using G+ is a pain, it won't let me upload a cover photo, and I added one profile photo and now I can't change it (it won't let me for some reason). Google Plus is slow, boring looking (they both are really), and difficult to use. Don't get me started on Youtube either. The whole crap makes me want to take a shower.

    • Yaara L
      January 20, 2014 at 7:04 am

      An article will always seem biased if it doesn't match your opinion. :)

      I have no speed problems with Google+, and I don't have the fastest Internet on Earth, so the issue never came up in this post. I've also never encountered the bug you mention with changing cover pics. What error are you getting on that?

      Personally, I don't use Google+ at all. But the whole point of the article was to really look at both social networks from all angles and see which one wins where. You'll notice that I never go into which network is more interesting, as that's not something I can measure in any way. If it's boring to you (and it usually is to me too), then that's that. :)

    • Mark
      November 30, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      Well ... purpose of this article was not exactly to say which one is better. It's up to each user to make this decision. Me personally I'm on other side of a barricade. I never liked fb although I gave it a real go couple of times. But ultimately got sick of it and propped my legs up at G+.
      I guess author of this article just wanted objectively compare these two networks from all possible angles. And succeeded. It's up to everybody what you prefer. I don't mean trash fb but I find it annoying. Not only for ads but also almost every time I logged in I was piled up with stuff I didn't care about. Suggestions, people, already mentioned ads and finally very addicting. It's like heroin for some. Some people will start scratch a wall when wifi is down for a moment.

      Conclusion is some like chocolate ice-cream and some vanilla. I feel very comfortable with being on G+. I find G+ very smooth, not overwhelming, No ads, no bs, can make it what you want it to be. And most importantly I get feeds from communities and stuff I'm ACTUALLY interested in. That's why I always will pick G+ over fb despite of how populated it is.

  3. Tom Rose
    December 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I don't need either. I hate the way Google forces you to have a G+ account in order to use gmail and YouTube, and I cannot stand the Timelines interface in Facebook. I MUCH preferred the original which was easier to manage.

    Besides I prefer to live my real life, rather than tell everyone about it, and read about theirs.

    At least neither of them is as ridiculous as the abortion that is twitter

  4. Jeff Nailen
    December 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Yaara,

    Thanks for your thorough and fair comparison. I agree with all the commenters regarding the better quality content on Google+. There is no comparison. This is lost in the numbers game comparing monthly users, members, market share, etc.

    If one values quality over quantity regarding both interface/form and content/substance you'll probably prefer Google+. Facebook's race to the top in quantity/numbers/profit feels like a rapid race to the bottom regarding quality.

  5. William MATAR
    December 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    For me Google is far better and i have over 12000 likes in my page

  6. ANDRIUS KARPAS
    December 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    google is much better. People like to stick on old things i like new things and google is the place there i can find more useful info people communities and so on. I am with facebook for 3 years but now im migrating to google+. Games on facebook keeps people there. Then i see posts from people around in facebook it makes me sick, porno , racism, violence facebook become in to scrap-heap of all shit in the world. Few days ago i got a post with a video how pakistan low life skum knifed womens head while she was alive a did a report to facebook for violence video and got an answer its ok its not a violence if you dont like dont watch believe me i was shocked. I went trough the google+ for a week and seems to be its clean of this shit so i can work on google + and dont have to afraid if my child will pass me or will come to me he will never see these horibble things. You will say i could filter all that on facebook but that means i have to delete all my friends or to block them from posting on my page. So today google + is awsome facebook is shit. Sorry for spelling English isnt my mother tongue.

  7. Danny Williams-Ruiz
    November 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I still use Facebook for friends and Google+ for finding new friends. Also, my friend and I prefer Google+ and it has overtaken twitter in monthly active users (not Gmail accounts as one stated).
    Google+ has a better interface by yottametres.

  8. Silverstar
    November 9, 2013 at 12:45 am

    It' really good. I already

  9. Shabir
    November 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I feel, in regards with privacy, Fb should not be given so much points. Why because, they keep facing Privacy issue not because privacy setting page is complicated, but because they don't respect user privacy as a core business practice. Facebook's Graph search cannot exist if privacy is set right the way user wants. So invariably, Fb changes privacy settings when it is escalate it , but again change it back to old fashion as soon as people forget it. this has happened 3 to 4 times now. Also, Fb still has the policy as : What we share belongs to FB, Fb has rights to use it completely for advertisement. This goes for post even hidden from profile or timeline (which we had deemed not public, and not shared with our own friends, But Fb uses it conveniently for advertisements via their policy, bad!!). Also, Our names and photos are used to advertise to friends without our concern. This also goes with all advertisement of product, if we had liked just liked one ad, all ads of that product can be advertised with our names and photos to our friends. not a good policy, but comes with graph search. This makes me not share much in Fb, and use Google + more than Fb. I use Fb rarely now. Other wise, I agree with other aspects,

  10. Cruzex
    October 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Google+ and Facebook are both good competitor but they both took some things from each other as Google+ took Facebook UI and Facebook took video chatting and adding friends from Google+. But users who are bored with working on Facebook for long time can go to Google+ because it have same interface and yes Google+ is much simpler without ads. It feels much comfortable and soft. I recommend to new users to check both first.

  11. Dhruv
    October 12, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Google+ has a far better chat than Facebook. At least it doesn't fill the whole sidebar with offline people and place the online ones at the end. Facebook makes sure you scroll down your entire friend-list just to find online friends.

    • Dennis
      January 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Yeah you are absolutely right

  12. Sel
    October 8, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I have used both G+ and Facebook and I find G+ easier to navigate and I feel safer on it than I do on Facebook.

    Another thing I don't like about Facebook is that you have to go through hoops to delete your account, I speak from experience as I've requested to have my account permanently deleted which will happen in 14 days time whereas on here you can delete you whole Google account without having to go through so many hoops (I know because I've done it before)

    Now I find that one cannot contact Facebook directly anymore either!!

    Yes it looks like I'll be sticking to G+ from now on!

  13. Brandon
    October 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    G+ all the way!

    • Sel
      October 8, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      I tend to agree with that now!

  14. sergio
    October 3, 2013 at 10:07 am

    It is the same shit with a different skin¡¡¡

    Both online relationships make you are forgetting your roots and wild. Both are the result of frustration of wanting to change the world for the better. Both cause a false happiness...

    I think that Google is knowledge and facebook is gossip. I Prefer wisdom, but be careful #Google: Your net is full of waste¡ :(

  15. Vid
    September 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Too bad there wasn't a mobile app part... G+ would destroy Facebook... Facebook's app is one of the worst and slowest apps on Google Play... I'd wait a minute for my PC to boot up than use the Facebook app on my Nexus 7... But the Google+ Android app is one of the best apps Google ever made.... It's interface is great and looks just like the actual site...

    • Yaara L
      September 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Yes, there were several more criteria I could have included, but who wants to read 5000 words about Facebook and Google+?

      Personally, I have no issues with Facebook's Android app. It lacks some crucial features for sure, but it's not slow at all on my Nexus 4. Interesting.

    • Patrick
      November 21, 2013 at 6:18 am

      Google made Android too so that might be a factor if you consider and look at it like that.

  16. Habib
    September 22, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    the only reason that Google + has less users.... is that it is started in 2011.. and on the opposite.. facebook is started in 2006... so Google Plus will take over facebook soon...

  17. Parthasarathy
    September 20, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Like G+, One id for all - Email, Android, Text/Video chat, Posts/Discussions, Photos, Web search, ...

  18. rob
    September 19, 2013 at 1:40 am

    The biggest issue is you see g+ vs fb, they can exist side by side, fb for private sharing controlled social. G+ easier to find new people with common interests. I will continue to use both.

  19. iu
    September 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Privacy, facebook? NO! :( In general the comments are genuine.

  20. Bumferry H
    September 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I do like G+ however, most people I know refer to Facebook because it has it's feet under the table. Most people I know are , unfortunately, afraid of change and tell me they don't use Google plus because "nobody else does".

    No matter how many times I tell them how good it is, or even just to try - they are stick in the muds and refuse. I'm going to share this article in the hope that one single person takes the plunge and joins in on what, I find, to be a very informative place.

    In conclusion, I think both Facebook and G+ are as good as you are prepared to get out of them.

    They are both social networks, but offer very different ways of interacting on the internet.

  21. Zenu Khas
    September 8, 2013 at 7:35 am

    For bloggers like me Facebook is a big resource of traffic, however Google+ is actually made for SEO, all the posts we make on Google+ are added to search results instantly. So including these facts i would go with Facebook.
    But if you have a low specs PC you're gonna hate Google+ :P

  22. Dave
    August 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I stopped reading after you gave a victory in 'friends' to Google+. None of my friends are on Google+, you should have titled that section 'Randomers'. Also I still think Circles are cumbersome and go 'out of date' within weeks.

    A lot of the 'new' features of the Google profile are taken from Facebook timeline. After all the accusations made of Facebook copying google...this surely is a little rich.

    Google+ is what it is, a niche product. It shouldn't try and take on Facebook head on (like it seems to try to) it'll never win. What I thought it could be is a place to meet completely new interesting people, however that isn't the focus of it. Added to the fact that meeting completely new people doesn't really tap into a human need. For instance, I don't go down to town on my own and talk to random people there to see if they're interesting...and if I did it would only be a novelty not something I'd do everyday.

    Its a niche, and people in that niche obviously love it...but comparing it to Facebook is silly. The scale between the two in usage statistics is ridiculous.

  23. iueae
    August 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I use both but I just love Google+. Thanks you Yaara for the insight by the way.

    If you don't migrate to G+, there are two reasons: 1) because facebook was the first and most people has connection there than G+; 2) you just don't want to hear about G+ blindly :)

    The first case is reasonable but does not make facebook smarter. Google outstands in many features.

    The second reason is just politics :( So guys open your mind and try both first, then give your comments.

  24. Luc Schots
    August 21, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I saw in the comments a question for a non-USA based social network....
    My wife is Chinese and is both on Facebook and QQ

  25. Theo
    August 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I just love Google+!

    But my friends are having a difficult time leaving Facebook.

    Well... I was one of the first to leave Hyves (dutch) also and they all joined me on FB later so they will follow me to Google+ :-)

  26. Rikki Sawhney
    August 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    When it comes to invading privacy, Google is the biggest offender there is. I started off on social media using Orkut. I moved to Facebook because I could personalize and control it better. Google is like an information dumping zone. I am not one if those who keeps writing stuff and dumping it out there. With Facebook, I feel I can represent myself better. My Facebook page gives me a feel of ownership of that space. Google plus might be technically putting features out there, but they do not give me ownership of my own content. Google plus doesn't get complaints on privacy because they don't give any privacy in their terms and conditions.

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 18, 2013 at 6:47 am

      Those are excellent points, Rikki. Couldn't have said it better myself. This is what I was trying to get at in the "Profile" section, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

      On the other hand, I wouldn't say you own your data on Facebook either. It just feels a little better there.

  27. Bill
    August 10, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Adblock Plus = no more Facebook ads. I'd rather use G+ but trying to get even some of my friends on board is difficult. They are set in their ways. I think its those stupid games I always get invitations for. But also because everyone they know is on it.

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 12, 2013 at 6:35 am

      It's a vicious cycle, isn't it?

  28. Sanjay K
    August 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I am tired of using both, after some years of using facebook,and a year of g+, I really thought i need something more.. I prefer makeuseof my first before hitting fb.
    ANywhere we go for information, if i find the info i needed here, why do i need another.. A bored user of fb & g+

  29. Jennifer Majors
    August 4, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I have to go with facebook. Google+ is good, but I never gt the same community feel that I get from facebook. It doesn't feel as close somehow, like more of a public place.

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Interesting, I would guess it's because anyone can add you to his/her circles, and you can add anyone in return, and there's no authorization required. It makes the whole thing feel more public, even though it's actually not. The interface also makes it feel colder somehow, I think.

  30. Swanny
    August 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

    With posting status updates on Facebook, you can actually post to several lists. When you select the audience, under "share with", select Custom, then you start typing the name of the list, select it, then you can type another list name in.

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Yes, that's true, but it's so cumbersome. Having to go to custom, and working with a whole new window. But yes, you're right, when using the Custom setting you can send updates to whoever you please.

  31. Kev Quirk
    August 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I actually use both Facebook and Google+ but both for different things. You see, I use Fb to keep up with my personal friends and family, then I use Google+ and it's awesome circles facility to get information on things I enjoy reading about, mostly geek stuff that my "real" friends wouldn't post.

    So for me Fb is for personal stuff and G+ is for my geek stuff. Kind of like RSS on steroids. I've also met some really interesting people on g+ that I would never have met if I wasn't on it.

    I love the way this is now, the fact that I can keep my geek social network separate from my personal social network. I still don't get twitter though. I just don't see the point. :P

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 4, 2013 at 6:14 am

      Awesome, sounds like the best of both worlds. :)

    • taki
      August 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Same with me. Google+ is part of a suite of programs: GMail, Maps, Calendar, Youtube,... all on Desktop & mobile.
      The companies are pushing FB too much for sales & I'm not interested in wasting time there.

  32. Daniel E
    August 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I got into a “discussion” with another MUO writer who called Google Plus a disappointment (or something like it). I pointed out that the quality of posts in G+ is far higher than those on FB.

    Let's start with the language — on second thought, don't get me started :) In brief, I see too much of text-ese on FB, and none that I can remember on G+. That might not sound like a big deal, but it reflects on the general professionalism of G+ users.

    So what happens if the text-eseing crowd flocks to G+? First, they're either too intimidated with G+ or too comfortable with FB. Second, even if they did, I can foresee Plusers chide them for their language.

    I can write on, but Yaara has covered most of it, and those that she hasn't, probably needs a blog post of my own :)

  33. Graham R
    August 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I guess like a lot of people I use both of them but for different things. I am not a facebook fan but nearly all my friends and family are on it, so its the only way to keep up to date with them. I use fb to share and interact with them.
    G+ though is much better at sharing and looks a lot better. I use it as the main place I gather information around my hobbies and for photographers its by far the best. As a place to view great photos / videos shared by others its brilliant.

    If I had to choose just one social network then G+ would be my choice. The good thing is I dont have to choose - I can use both.

  34. Miggs
    August 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    None. It is well put in the article that Google "is considered by many less evil than Facebook". That's probably true but it doesn't matter much. All we get is two closed ecosystems. Both companies are in a big rush for money. They both sacrifice their users privacy (facebook is notorious for that) while Google+ has the added feature of an uncertain future (Google is notorious for closing unsuccessful projects).
    If you're a facebook user, I don't see any reason to switch. You get the same ****.

  35. Stephan Huebner
    August 3, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Part of the problem, I think, is that Google+, as a whole, is still not good enough. And with this I mean: "Good enough to abandon my personal history on Facebook". Possibly somebody would need to find a way to transfer ones history from FB to Google.

    Btw, the article is nice and at least made me consider Google+ as a valid alternative. But, especially in light of recent news, I wonder what *other* alternatives there are, maybe some that are not based in the USA. It would be nice to see an article about that.

    And lastly: I do like the article, as it's informative. But it would be nice if somebody would proofread articles on makeuseof, as there are quite a few easily avoidable spelling/grammar mistakes in its articles.

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 3, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Thank you for your feedback, Stephen. We actually proofread and edit articles, and this one was proofread both by me and an editor after that. It's crazy that mistakes still slipped through, and I'm sorry about that. We really do our best in that regard, but mistakes will slip through sometimes.

  36. Frankfurter I
    August 3, 2013 at 8:55 am

    To me both have the same good.

  37. Fran
    August 3, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Both have dreadful interfaces, but Google+ is the worst. Its virtually unusable because of how bad the interface is.

    • stephen
      January 7, 2014 at 4:54 am

      I'd love to see your attempt at a better UI

  38. Paul G. Janzen
    August 3, 2013 at 3:51 am

    You said: "The weirdest part of the Google+ chat is that there’s no way to know who is online right now and who isn’t." Well, that's not completely true. There is a tiny little green bar under the avatar, showing that person as online. Even your screenshot shows it. And it worked for me so far. But I agree with you that the selection of contacts shown is odd.

    Nice article by the way. I stopped using Facebook about 2 years ago and don't regret it. I'm Google+ all the way.

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Ha! Do you know I completely missed that? I've never noticed that line before, which is a UI problem in itself. Thanks for pointing it out! But as you said, the contacts shown are still pretty random.

    • Clayton
      August 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      It's a design flaw because you are ignorant?

    • Brian
      August 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      It is a design flaw because it isn't intuitive.

    • Nater
      August 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      That only shows online if they are online on a PC client. If they are using a mobile client, it will not show them as online that way.

      So it's still fairly worthless.

    • Rodrigo Graça
      August 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Thats not true.... if i go to gmail i see N people online and only 1 online on google+ ....

    • Rul Ro
      January 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Right on g mail you can see who is online and who doesn't. Also on the hangouts mobile app you can see who is online with an Android device.

    • Rul Ro
      January 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Google+ it's better by far. Obstinate people on fb can't see that networks change, that happened with irc, icq, aol instant messenger, microsoft messenger, hi5, ringo, myspace, and now with facebook.

  39. Nick C
    August 3, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I use both and Google+ is a backup for Facebook

    • Thomas D
      November 29, 2013 at 12:38 am

      For me, Facebook is a backup for Google+.

  40. Garey B
    August 3, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I use both and I can't make up my mind on either. It's one of those things that is ultimately decided by each user.

  41. WorknMan
    August 3, 2013 at 12:04 am

    There's also another reason to prefer Facebook - that Social Fixer extension is pretty nifty. If anybody is reading this, I'll give you $500 if you can point me to, or build, a Google+ Chrome extension that lets me filter posts based on keywords, and that actually WORKS.

    Yes, I'm serious :P

    • bobeyuno
      August 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      What about the feture built into google+ istself, Type a keyword into the search bar and you can filter posts between the whole of goolge plus or just your circles

    • Michael Bolens
      August 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      #winning

    • Mhamed mellat
      November 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      je prefaire facebook

    • james
      November 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      there is a lot of reasons to prefer facebook. Main reason is everyone is on Facebook. Google likes to claim it has a lot of users but really it just pulls everyone from gmail and creates default google+ pages for them that they never use. I have a google+ page but never use it so I'm sure I am one of those 25 million or whatever made up number google uses. Google+ will never beat twitter or facebook, but Google will just make up numbers using gmail users or anyone with a google account to make it seem like they're doing well so they can sell ads

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