With the rise of Google +1 and the growing presence of Facebook Likes, its important to understand the fundamental differences between the two features. As stated on the Google website, “the +1 button is shorthand for this is pretty cool’ or’ you should check this out.’ Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.” According to Facebook, ‘the Like button lets a user share your content with friends on Facebook. When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website.”
Now, with a better sense of Google +1 and Facebook Like, lets delve into their notable differences:
- For now, Google +1 is only available in search results. Facebook Likes, however, is present all over the web. Thus, until Google expands its +1 feature elsewhere, Facebook controls this comparison.
- Google +1 is present in every search result page. Individuals selectively place Facebook Like in their webpages when they want. Google +1, thus, has a greater presence and will only continue to grow.
- +1 will appear whenever one of your connections performs a search; Facebook Likes appear momentarily on friends’ news feeds before becoming buried by more current statuses. For this reason, Google +1 is the heavy favorite here.
- If you wish to +1 something, you must return to the search results page. Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to ‘Like’ the page right on the page, making it very convenient. Hence, Facebook is the better option here. Of course, one cannot rule out future updates that will expand the +1 features, in which case Google +1 will likely emerge as the better option.
- +1s are shared with your connections via Gmail, Contacts, Buzz, Reader, and Google Chat. Your likes are shared with your network on Facebook. Facebook probably wins this contest until Google rolls out +1.
In the long-term, assuming Google +1 rolls out properly, there is almost no doubt it will become a more powerful tool than Facebook Like. However, Facebook can take refuge in the fact that nothing will offset its heavy Facebook users, not even Google +1. Additionally, the strength of the average social connection between Facebook friends is greater than the social connection between average Google contacts. Each will likely counter the other in an effort to maintain control.
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