Facebook is a website that is aimed at connecting people and making new friends. This is done by sharing news, thoughts, photos and other types of messages. It was started in February 2004 and it is a private company. The idea of Facebook was started by a Harvard student called Mark Zuckerberg. He had used the school’s computer network to post some photos for other students to see. The school’s administration blocked the site and charged Mark for interfering with the network’s security. After a week, the site was started again and gradually widened its boundaries. Today Facebook is known worldwide and has about eight hundred million users (Baloun 35). In fact, the use of Facebook has been noted in all quarters of society. Among prominent users include the American president Barrack Obama who has been noted as using it for both his political work as well as for his personal use. He made a note of it during one of his meetings where he addressed Facebook users about important issues. He is also noted for having studied at Harvard University, just like the co-creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.
According to Goldfarb (50), Google+ is also a social site owned by an American corporation called Google. This corporation was started in January 1996 but Google+ was founded later on. Google+ allows friends to share ideas, thoughts, photos and even chats on live videos. This has been the latest feature of this site and it enables connected people to communicate more efficiently. This site includes updates and news about aspects that interest users for example latest updates on celebrities, coming up events, breaking news and any other relevant information.
The first difference between the two sites is that they belong to different ownerships. Facebook is owned by Facebook Corporation whereas Google+ is a product of the Google multi-national corporation. The set-up of the two sites also differs. Facebook uses web pages for its members. Once members log in his or her page is opened and they can access other friends’ pages as well. Google+ on the other hand, uses circles. These circles are restricted to chosen friends only. For example, the circles classify friends depending on what they have in common. One can put parents in their own circle, friends with common agenda and so on. This enables a member to share with only those he or she has selected (Google inc, 2010).
Google+ seems to be more developed than facebook because now, Google+ is using live video chats. The circles are also quite complex than the simple pages of facebook. With facebook, friends can only use messaging chat lines and updating their status by writing what is on their mind. The site has also privacy measures but not like those of Google+. A member can only choose which friends to access and the ones that feature on his or her page. For example, a member can allow access to her profile to all facebook members but restrict photos to friends only (Baloun 78).
Advantages and Disadvantages
Some of the sites’ benefits are maintaining communication with friends. Some friends might be living far away and other methods of communication might not be possible (Baloun 89). Online communication using these two sites is affordable, fast and reliable. Social sites also assist in meeting new people who might be helpful. For example, facebook offers suggestions for adding new friends. This way, an individual can make new friends. Facebook and Google+ have been helpful to business people. It is easy to reach out to potential customers through these two sites, by advertisements.
Facebook and Google+ also have the advantage of being fun to use, thereby providing a good way for people to spend their time online. This helps in preventing stuff like the access of adult material that is distracting especially in a business setting. Sharing ideas on these social sites also provides individuals with the incentive to be creative further providing more opportunities for people working online. Indeed, with the invention of these networks, people are more self-reliant as they use the internet as a source of livelihood. Facebook and Google+ have also been praised as a source of information and knowledge that has led to political changes such as removal of political regimes and oppressive governments in recent times.
Social sites like Facebook and Google+ have disadvantages as well. Social sites are dangerous because they can be mediums of spreading immoral or even illegal things among its members. In fact, one requirement of Google+ is that an individual must be over eighteen years to be allowed membership. Profiles can also expose a member’s personal details to dangerous people. These social sites have been observed to be addictive. The most addictive of them all is Facebook because it does not have any age requirement for joining. This encourages even young students and sometimes they end up wasting a lot of time on these sites (Goldfarb 120.)
Another disadvantage is that Facebook and Google+, like any social sites, are quite time-consuming. Individuals have been noted to spend quite a lot of time online, chatting with each other, updating their profiles or doing the various things that are available on these sites. This leads to wastage of time and most working institutions have to limit access to these sites to ensure that their workers are productive. Privacy has become a major issue with these sites especially when hackers gain information into an individual’s personal data. These has become a major disadvantage because people are now more likely to be faced with electronic fraud, identity theft and even cyber-bullying due to these social sites.
It is important to note that despite the problems that social networks can bring, they have become an important part of the lives of human beings. They should therefore be accepted even though people should be educated about using them safely. Due to its vast network, Facebook has proven to be the better network for younger individuals such as students who need to interact with more people. Google+ currently does not have such a large following but has the potential to be better for adults who are looking for a more professional network. Therefore, for a new user, joining Facebook is currently better than Google+ since Facebook offers a larger following.
Baloun, Karel. Inside facebook. California: Routledge, 2011. Print.
Books, LLC. Facebook: Criticisms of Facebook. Michigan: General books publishers, 2010. Print.
Goldfarb, Sam. The Google+ book: How to use Google+ for yourself & your business. Illinois: Sam Goldfarb, 2010. Print.
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