5 Right Reasons Google+ better than Facebook Or Twitter

Saturday, July 30th 2011. | Internet News
  • Circles

One of the most talked about Google+ features (and for good reason) is Circles, the feature that allows you manage the people you follow and want to share updates with. With Circles, you can send status updates to groups it is relevant to only, rather than blasting it out to everyone. For example, I created a Circle for just friends of mine that love music so I could share music videos that I have created or really enjoyed. Facebook and Twitter do offer ways to share updates selectively but it’s not as fine-tuned. I can block updates from certain groups on Facebook but to actually configure that takes time. For Twitter, it’s all or nothing with your updates as you can make your profile private or public.

  • Hangouts

Another often cited feature for Google+ is Hangouts, which let you video chat with up to 25 people at the same time for free. Every person you’re chatting with appears in a small box and whoever is speaking is in a large window on top. While Facebook recently partnered with Skype to bring video chat to Facebook users, it only supports one-on-one video chat. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that more features were coming down the pipeline, but right now Google+ is the champion of video chat. Twitter, unfortunately, does not have a video chat option.

  • Mobile capabilities

Google+ so far has released apps for Android and iOS, and both offer much to users on the go. Outside of the basic functionality like reading updates and watching videos, there’s also a group chat feature called Huddles. Unlike apps from Facebook and Twitter, this allows you to chat with many friends at once to make plans or waste time. While I think Twitter’s mobile presence is generally excellent, the limitations of the network’s core features hinder what can be done on mobile devices. Facebook’s mobile applications are fine for reading updates and sending messages, but it could use an overhaul to keep up with Google+.

  • Data downloading

Google+ is the first prominent network to offer the ability to download your personal data and updates easily. Google’s new Google Takeout service lets you download your saved data from Google’s servers. If you wanted to leave Google+ tomorrow, for example, you could easily download your status updates before checking out. At this time, Facebook and Twitter offer no comparable service.

  • Sparks

Sparks might be one of the most underutilized features in Google+. The feature lets you find content like articles and videos related to any topic you can think of. At the bottom of each peice of content is a Share button that makes it easy to show it to those in your circles. It’s easy to miss the small “Sparks” link on the left side your Google+ stream and at first click, it seems like the feature is narrow. It highlights interests like Cycling, Fashion, Recipes, Sports cars, Android, and Robotics. But above the highlights is a search bar that pulls up anything you might want. I searched for “Harry Potter” and found entertaining blog posts published today and YouTube videos uploaded this week. Both Facebook and Twitter don’t make it this easy to find and share content. Both competing networks make you stumble across content from someone else’s steam or look outside the network for new things to share.

Wrap Up
While Google+ still has much to do if it wants to catch up to the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it’s made many steps in the right direction. The above standout features already show how Google is making some smart decisions. They’ve also already made missteps like booting users off for “fake name” or “community standards” violations. Facebook and Twitter are surely watching closely and will make their own feature additions to keep up. Are there any other things you think Google+ does better than the rest? What things do you wish Google+ did better?. Be sure to check out the rest of our series covering Google+, its features, and how it fits into the social ecosystem.

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