Why I like Google Plus over Facebook…

I’ve been on both networks for awhile now, and I’ve noticed and taken advantage of a couple key differences between the two.  As everyone who is on Google Plus is aware of by now, very few of our Facebook friends are on Google Plus, so most of the people we’re connecting with there will be people we don’t know.  This sounds a little scary at first, but in reality it’s refreshing and enlightening to connect with others that you normally wouldn’t be able to.

As most of you are aware of, I am a photographer, and Google Plus allows me to connect with other photographers, peers, from all over the world. This type of interaction is invaluable – because when a peer likes your work, it carries a lot more weight than when your Mom likes it!! Nothing against Mom, or all our other lifelong friends for that matter, but they don’t always see what we do through the same eyes as a peer does!

This kind of connection is something that’s much more difficult to do on Facebook mainly because Facebook is a “friend request” based network where you have to request to be friends with someone and then it’s up to that person to accept it or not.  Google Plus on the other hand is a “follower” based network, much like Twitter users are familiar with, where you simply elect to follow anyone you want.  The person you’re following does not have to accept your request to follow them – simply because there is no request, you just do it. That person does not have to follow you back though. . . Once again, this can seem scary to the uninitiated, but in reality Google Plus has made it very easy for you to limit your posts visibility to only those people that you want seeing them, by the way of what they call “circles”.

When you post something to “Public”, anyone who is following you can see it. However, if you post just to your circles, or specific circles, then only those people you are following (circled) and are also following you, can see your posts.  You can limit your posts visibility anywhere from a single person seeing them, to the entire world – regardless of how many people are actually following (circled) you!!

To illustrate the difference of each system. Imagine if Ansel Adams (famous photographer) was still alive, and he was on Facebook and Google Plus.  Trying to get Mr. Adams to accept my friend request on Facebook and interact with him I’m sure would be close to impossible.  On Google Plus however, I would just simply choose to follow him (add him to my circles) and that’s it – I could then see and interact with anything he decided to post publicly to all his adoring followers! And who knows – after I made a few comments, questions, and likes on some of his posts, maybe he would circle me back and then he could see and interact with my posts as well!  That’s how Google Plus works – more like how real life works!

Another advantage is photo sharing. You can upload very large photos to Google Plus and the interface will allow you to zoom in and see the photos details in all their glory. You can upload large images to Facebook as well, but Facebook will not allow you to see the image full size (at least I haven’t figured out how to do it and for all I know they may even downsize the images as well), plus Facebook tends to compress the crap out of images as well causing some quality issues on some pictures.

Where Facebook shines, because of it’s popularity, is with connecting with clients and customers. Almost every client of mine has a Facebook account and keeping in contact with them after the session is over is crucial to repeat business.  Until Google Plus becomes as popular, Facebook will rule in this one area.

So as you might guess, I use both platforms regularly – one to connect with peers and showcase my work, and the other to maintain connections with my client base. If Google Plus ever becomes popular with the masses to the point where I can maintain client connections there, then Facebook will fall off my radar completely.