Facebook Faces Off With Google+: What’s the Difference?

» Posted by on Jul 7, 2011 in Business Strategy, Facebook, Marketing | 1 comment

By Harry and Miriam McNabb

No sooner did we point out that video capability in Google+ gives it an edge over Facebook, than Facebook announced its plan to work with Skype to provide video conferencing in Facebook.  (We’re sure Mark Zuckerberg reads this blog.)

Here’s  a brief rundown on our understanding of the capabilities in each.

Facebook New Videoconferencing and Enhanced Chat Features

  •  Makes use of the existing chat feature to simply add video to your conversation with friends online; seems to be limited at the moment to video chat between two people.
  • Enhanced chat adds a menu of the people that you chat with most to make it easier to initiate conversations – you still “call” your friends.
  •  Enhanced chat now allows for “group chats” – bringing more than two people into the conversation. This is like a conference call feature – you add more friends to the call that you initiate.

Google+ Hangout Features                                                                                                     t

The more technical information from the Google tech lead can be found here, but the easy user summary is :

  •  The “Hangout” feature – video conferencing – supports up to 10 participants at a time.
  •  You can “Hangout” with your circles of friends by setting yourself as “available” or joining a group, rather than pinging or calling individuals, or being interrupted at an inopportune time.
  • You can do more that chat face to face – you could, for example, all watch a YouTube video together.  (Gotta love that Google owns… everything.)

And what about Google+ “Huddle?”  This is akin to the Facebook enhanced chat, but rather than add individuals one by one to the conversation, it essentially allows you to engage in group text.  (Sorry, couldn’t stop myself.)   As we stated here, we think that the Google+ ace is the potential to bring it into the apps suite and sell it to the enterprise.  And here’s where Huddle could really add value – if your engineering team located at home offices all over the country can discuss a glitch in the latest project in an easy and immediate manner, that’s a good selling point.

What’s it look like to us?  So far, the Facebook/Skype solution is lagging behind Google+ in functionality.  But they’ve got a big edge – a 750 million user edge that can’t be discounted.  Indications are that the Facebook/Skype functionality will beat Google+ to the market.  While the chat and videoconferencing features are not as robust as those in Google+, they may be sufficient for the consumer market already using Facebook.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello! Just want to say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.

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