You may think of Google as an Internet search site, and Facebook as a social networking site, but over the years, these two giants have built many competing services. In 2011, Google built Google Plus, a social network that offers many of the same features as Facebook. Each social network competes for your attention by creating distinct innovations, resulting in a significantly different experience on each of the two networks.
Search Engine Integration
Both Google Plus and Facebook work together with popular Internet search engines. Google Plus works with Google.com to place information from your Google Plus account next to content you have produced for the Web. You can specify content that displays your portrait and name from within your Google Plus profile. Facebook, by contrast, works with Bing to provide you with information relating to your friends. If you search on Bing for a particular city, for example, Bing provides you with a list of Facebook friends who like the city.
Both Facebook and Google Plus offer an events page. Google Plus events come with themes to decorate your event. Select from among the themes to find one that suits the event best. Google Plus events also include a party mode, which automatically displays photos from the event. Facebook events allow you to see events either as a list or as a calendar, and events created in Facebook benefit from its very large social network.
Facebook offers a messaging system that allows you to easily contact others who use the social network. Sending a Facebook message is easy: Click on the message application and click “send new message.” Google Plus does not offer this same service, but it does work closely with its related email product, called Gmail. You can send a Gmail message straight from your Google Plus profile. Gmail also allows you to respond to Google Plus messages from within its Gmail product. For video conferencing, Google Plus offers a feature it calls “Hangouts.” Hangouts allow many people at once to speak via webcam. Facebook offers video conferencing services through Skype, but this service allows you to speak with only one person at a time on Facebook.
When you log in to both Facebook and Google Plus, you see a list of information from a variety of sources. Google Plus calls this your home stream, while Facebook calls it your news feed. The news feed offers simplicity, while the home stream offers variety. Google Plus allows you to see information provided by only certain groups of friends, called circles. It also offers a local option with local information, and an explore feature that aggregates popular items from across the site.