The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Social Networking Armaggedon: Google Plus still no match for Facebook’s social empire

After enjoying the comfort of Facebook for many years, from easily making wall posts to adding friends, I made the unfortunate decision to wander off into the land of Google Plus.

The territory was completely unfamiliar. Finding friends, not to mention communicating with them, was next to impossible. Officially, I have two friends, or should I say “acquaintances,” on Google Plus: my sister and another guy who lives on his iPhone.

The biggest problem with Google Plus is how it’s not all that different from Facebook, but tries too hard to make users believe that it’s the next big thing. The point of both these social networking sites is to give us access to whatever our friends are doing. From MySpace to HighFive and everything in between, all social networking sites provide the same features.

Which brings me to Google Plus. No one needs this extra complication in their lives. All anybody wants out of a social networking site is an outlet to exercise their stalker side, but not feel weird about it because everyone else is doing the same thing.

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Google Plus attempts to distinguish itself from Facebook by having circles, allowing you to categorize your would-be friends as “acquaintances,” “family” or “friends” (as if I didn’t know who they were already). While Google Plus tries to steer away from being labeled as a wannabe Facebook, the “different” features don’t make it special or something I want to go back to.

I tried. Wait, I didn’t try; spending minutes watching video tutorials did not compare with spending my time seeing the latest photos my friends posted. It seemed pointless to spend the energy to change networking sites that provide the same services. I could have been doing my homework.
In addition, Facebook is constantly updating its user interface without overhauling services. While certain changes in Facebook have their setbacks (converting chat into messages), Facebook is still easier to maneuver. Google Plus, even though it’s fairly new, already seems obsolete because of how frustrating it is to use.

My two friends on Google Plus not only display my lack of friends, but also the fact that no one has made much of an effort to switch themselves. If people consider themselves more of a Google user than Facebook, they’d probably have more friends than I do. However, the only person I know that uses his Gmail account more than his Facebook is my dad, who prides himself in not letting social networks control his life. Using a social networking site that around five percent of people use (or just whoever your Google contacts are) is not appealing in any way.

One day another social networking site will take away the title and glory that is Facebook, but I assure you it won’t be Google Plus.

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