6 Reasons To Leave Facebook For Google Plus – And 3 Reasons Not To

Google Plus is the new kid on the block and compared to Facebook, it’s still a small kid. However, Google Plus has been gaining huge momentum in the last year that it has been available. Part of this gain has been from the fact that Google operates on so many levels within the web community and Google+ interacts seamlessly with almost all of them. Plus, it helped that Google began forcing all YouTube users to link their accounts with a Google+ profile. So even though Google+ has over 400 million users, only about 100 million are active on a monthly basis.

It might seem like a daunting task to start fresh on a large-scale social networking site considering that you’ve likely been on Facebook for so many years now, but after my experiences with Google Plus, I’m about ready to drop Facebook completely! But let’s not jump the gun completely…check out the pros and cons below to see if Google+ is right for you.

Reasons to jump ship

  1. Advertising – Facebook is full of it. It’s not always so apparent too. With all the adverts for game requests, sponsored links and now promoted wall posts, Facebook has become a haven for cyber junk that you are probably getting really sick of. I know I am. Now, this doesn’t mean that Google+ doesn’t have the potential for falling into the same traps, but my guess is that since Google has more than one service, they don’t need Google+ to be their cash cow. Whereas Facebook now has shareholders to answer to, it’s very possible that advertising could get worse for them.
  2. Integration – Facebook integrates well with other online services and websites, but it’s still a very separate platform. Google+ is basically the backbone of the majority of Google services so when you log into Gmail, you are already logged into Google+, YouTube, Drive and more! The best part is that practically all of these services are well-integrated and they cross-manipulate one another.
  3. Google+ Events

  4. Google Events – Yes Facebook has events, but they are like Google’s. On Google+, you can create an event, invite all your friends and instantly it turns into Party Mode. This feature allows all attendees to upload photos to the event which then threads them all together for everyone to see.
  5. Google Hangouts – Remember the days of video conferencing or webcam chats? How difficult was it to get more than two people in on the event? Well Google+ now allows live streaming events to be hosted online and joined by others and/or watched by everyone. From a business standpoint, this allows much more integration between employees and clients.
  6. Muppets Google+ page

  7. Communities and Pages – Google+ offers users the ability to create pages for their businesses just like Facebook as well as starting their own communities like Facebook groups. The difference is that the integration is much tighter with Google+ and everything is instantly linked to search results related to your content. On Facebook, you might have to pay for advertising to get similar results.
  8. Future proof – Google+ is banking on long term goals with product integration and it starts with Google search. With the rise of micro-blogging and the sharing of content all over the internet, the power of Google search can only help get that content to the people. As a blogger myself, Google+ has even allowed my search results to appear next to my name and a photo to help make them stand out among the competition.

It seems that there isn’t much if anything that Google+ can’t do that Facebook can, so why would anyone not make the switch? Let’s take a look at some of the things that are holding me back…for now.

Reasons not to jump ship

  1. Entrenchment – There’s no doubt that Facebook is vastly more widespread than Google+ is. In fact, “facebook” has almost become a ubiquitous term for social networking, much like “google” has become for finding things online. As a result, it’s much easier to find people on Facebook.
  2. Vanity URLs – This might seem like such a small detail, but having the ability to tell people they can find your Facebook page by going to facebook.com/ledfrog is far more enticing than trying to tell people that they can find you on Google+ by going to plus.google.com/114683976907069457614. However, I should point out that Google has already started rolling out vanity URLs to verified celebrities and corporate brand pages. One such example is google.com/+hughjackman. The use of the little ‘+’ is also used to tag names in posts or search for people.
  3. Integration – Although it’s also mentioned above as a pro, Facebook does have a leg up with website integration in terms of being able to login to external websites, but that’s all starting to change.

With time, Google+ has great potential to become much more powerful than Facebook due to Google’s vast amount of services and products they have connected together. Facebook has been described has being a social network, while Google is described as being a social layer that covers many of Google’s properties.

My Two Cents

In the end of all this debate, many people (including myself) will simply continue using both. I have to because all of my real-world friends are on Facebook and very few of them are on Google+. I also have a couple of Facebook pages that already have fans attached to them, so until I see the natural progression of Facebook users moving toward Google+, I don’t plan on deleting any accounts.

But just like the pioneers of Facebook did when they left MySpace all those years ago, I plan to start really pushing Google+ to my friends as well as posting more updates there than on Facebook. If my friends want to continue following me…well, they’ll have to literally follow me over to Google.

Facebook Stock – Buy, Sell or Wait?

It feels like I haven’t written in a month! Oh that’s because I haven’t! Anyway, what better topic to re-open the flow of blog posts than one about Facebook?? As we all know, Facebook launched its IPO last week in an attempt to raise billions more than they were already worth (according to estimates), but from the very beginning, analysts were questioning the legitimacy of Facebook’s value. I mean seriously, how can you really gauge the value of an Internet company that doesn’t have a constant stream of revenue? Well, it seems the value of Facebook is relative to the amount of users actively on the site mixed with the real-world numbers of how much traffic and advertising Facebook is capable of receiving and displaying.

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Facebook To Go Public – IPO On The Horizon

Facebook is poised to launch its first IPO valued at $10 billion. Interestingly enough, this will beat Google’s IPO back in 2004 worth only $1.9 billion. Currently being a private company, Facebook doesn’t have to publish it’s accounting records, but it a report surfacing back in January of 2011 claims that Facebook made a net profit of $355 million on revenues of $1.2 billion in the first nine months of 2010.

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Google+ Brand Pages Compared to Facebook's

The battle started when Google launched Google+ and now it’s going to get even more heated with the introduction of brand pages just like the ones that Facebook allows businesses to manage. There’s not an official name for it at this time, but it’s coming in a month or two.

I love how Google does business. Most companies out there would spend countless amounts of cash and resources to try and bring people toward their product or service, but not Google. They simply create something and just leave it alone. The statement, “If you build it, they will come.” is more than true for Google and in the case of branded pages, Google is actually telling businesses NOT to create Google+ profiles at this time!

Google+ Product Manager Christian Oestlien says that Google is in the process of building a business-side of Google+ that will “creat[e] a unique experience for businesses that includes deep analytics and the ability to connect to products like AdWords.

First of all the problem with Facebook’s brand pages is a matter of advertising. Companies want to know whether their advertising dollars are being spent well and Facebook simply doesn’t have the capacity to track post-click engagement of non-Facebook ads driving to Facebook. Google+ will attempt to solve this problem through the inherent connections between all of Google’s services like AdWords and actual searches. Here are three other reasons why Google+ brand pages are likely to beat Facebook’s.

  1. Better search opportunities – Advertisers paying for sponsored search results on Google’s search results have to pay for these clicks to go through to the Facebook.com domain which is pretty generic when compared to their business. Facebook.com generates a lower click-through ratio (CTR) because people won’t automatically associate Facebook.com with any particular business.

    With Google+ already showing in search results, it’s likely that businesses setup with Google+ pages will be in better positions in the general search due to the relation between content and search query.

  2. Customization – If you look at a current Google+ page, you’ll notice right off the bat how customizable it could be based on ad placements and such. If an advertiser could customize their ads to better brand themselves. This would be similar to how an advertiser can customize an entire YouTube experience or what MySpace has been allowing users to do for some time now.

    Facebook pages still look like profiles and while this creates consistency, it doesn’t do much for user interaction and participation.

  3. Analytics – Google already has a major head start here with Google Analytics and they will no doubt integrate this service with Google+ to make it much easier (and possible) to track detailed information about a company’s fans among other things.

    These tools will allows companies to make better content decisions much like they already do with their main websites.

My two cents

I have a Facebook page for my photography business and while it’s functional in terms of engaging interested Facebook users with everything I offer, it still feels like just another Facebook profile. I spend enough time just managing one and now I have two. I’m not saying Google+ will be much different, but what I like (so far) is the thought of how integrated it will be with the functions of Google itself.

Since I already spend time getting Google to play well with my websites and whatnot, it just makes sense to keep these processes going in a seamless transition. Of course, only time will tell if all of this will be truly seamless, but so far, everything sounds appealing.

Google Banning Users From Google+

The Internet is full of anonymity with people hiding behind fake names, creative monikers, edited photos, etc., but apparently not on Google+. It seems as though Google has stepped in and banned a number of accounts that have been using fake names. How Google has determined who’s real and who’s not is anyone’s guess, but it’s safe to say that they probably just focused on the obvious ones.

Google has been enforcing their strict policy of using a real first and last name to sign up for the service in an effort to ward off spammers and other Internet trolls. I for one, agree with this approach. Otherwise, Google+ will turn into what MySpace and Twitter have turned into—an isolated online community of spammers and advertisers. Watch out Facebook; you’re heading in the same direction too.

The concept of using real names also adds the benefit of making it easier for people to find you because after all, isn’t that the point for signing up to a social network? If you plan on using a fake name just so people can’t find you, why even join at all?

All of the weekend banning has caused quite a stir in the social network community and some users are outraged that their legitimate accounts have been banned. Google+’s VP Bradley Horowitz says that the previous naming policy is under review and in the meantime, offending accounts will no longer be banned outright, but will receive a warning. Should that warning not be heeded, the account will disappear. Make note that this “banning” will only occur on the Google+ service and will not affect that individual’s Gmail account or any other Google services he or she may have.

For those of you who use Google+ but have a legitimate nickname or other name that people can search you by, you can add these names right into your account. When editing, locate the section called “Other names” and enter them as needed.

The controversy continues while Google decides the fate of this naming policy—some users feel that it’s too rigid because they wish to use their Google+ account to be found on the Internet by other Internet users and they might not be known by their real name online.

My two cents

This issue is not one of privacy. If anyone feels that it is, they should not be on Google+. While you’re at it, delete your Facebook profile too. If you sign up for these services, expect people to find you, expect people to search for you and then expect people to add you as a friend. For all of you who sign up for a public profile just to go and make it private and then complain when something like this happens, get offline. The reason I agree with Google’s naming policy is because it allows the rest of us to keep our reputations of being real while adding some value to the community.

I have no problem with my name being out there because I control everything I put on the Internet. If I don’t want someone to see a photo of mine, I don’t upload it. I say to Google, keep up the good work and rid your service of the spammers and advertisers. Let’s just hope some other online services will follow suit.

Facebook Stalker Arrested and Sentenced to 4 Years

Just when you thought the Internet was safe! Ehh…ok, nevermind. What I meant to say was, people…you need to stop leaving yourself vulnerable out there on the Internet. And while we’re talking about this, let’s clarify one thing: there’s a major difference between you getting hacked and getting phished. More on that in a minute, but for now, let’s see what George Bronk is up to these days.

It appears that Mr. Bronk has been trolling Facebook looking for women who might have been leaving clues in and around their profiles that could allow George to gain access to their accounts. He chose women because like any self-respecting creeper, he has a preference. Once he had the information he needed to get into the email accounts, he would search through folders looking for nude photos and/or videos that they may have sent to their husbands or boyfriends. George would then send these files to that person’s contact list, thus exposing their personal lives to family, friends and co-workers.

Unlike most “hackers”, George’s approach wasn’t that he found clues that would lead him to figure out the actual password, nor was he using any brute force attacks on the accounts. What he did was actually pretty clever and a great eye-opener for you. Using personal information like where you’re from, names of your family members, home addresses, phone numbers, etc., he would click on the “Forgot password” links at various webmail sites and plug in the correct answers for the security questions to get a password sent to him.

George Bronk was sentenced to 4 years in prison for violating the personal privacy of women in 17 states, Washington D.C. and even London. He was also charged with possession of child pornography which added 8 more months. More on George Bronk.

Once in the account(s), he would change the password to lock the person out and begin his attack. Now by me agreeing that it’s a clever approach does not condone his actions—it simply reminds us just how easy it can be to lose access to your personal data. Using easy-to-remember answers on those security questions falls right into the same realm of using the same password for all of your online accounts. It’s just a bad idea.

Hacked and Phished

As soon as someone loses access to an online account or they start seeing mysterious wall posts on their Facebook profile, the first thing they tell all their friends is that they got hacked. While in some cases, this might be true, 99% of the time, it is not the case. What most likely happened is that you got phished. There are two reasons why someone would say hacking instead of phishing: 1. They don’t know the difference or 2. They do know the difference and realized that getting phished makes them look like a fool.

Being hacked means that your account was compromised in some way by an attacker that has made entry into the computers and or servers where your information is stored. For example, if someone hacked into the Facebook computers and had access to everyone’s account profiles and all information tied to them.

Being phished means that someone set out to attack you personally (or you were part of an attacked group) and have made entry into your account directly using a password that you inadvertently gave them. For example, someone sends you an email saying you need to login to Facebook to verify your account. you click on the link, see a page that looks like Facebook, fill out your username and password and then nothing appears to happen. You think it was some computer glitch and proceed to login to Facebook again through Facebook.com. What just happened was that you entered your username and password on a page that wasn’t Facebook and thereby sent that info to your attacker.

The difference between these is like night and day. Having your Facebook account hacked would be something out of your control because the attack happened to systems out of your reach. It just happened to be that your account was on those systems. On the same note, hacked systems usually affect thousands if not hundreds of thousands of users all at once.

If your car got stolen because someone broke into to it, hotwired it and drove off, that would compare to a hacking event. If you gave your keys to a stranger because they told you they were going to go get your car washed for you and they never came back, that compares to a phishing event.

My two cents

Always use strong passwords. Never use the same password for every account. If you really have to, at least don’t use your Gmail password for your bank account! As we learned above, it appears that even a secure password is not very secure if the reset questions are easy to guess. With that said, try answering questions with different answers. I remember when I would see the “What was the name of your first pet?” question…rather than providing the real answer, I’d use a name of an ex-girlfriend. This made it funny to me, but it also made it very secure as nobody could ever guess that answer.

Lesson learned today: always protect your online accounts just as you would protect your house and other belongings.

Twitter Gets Ready To Launch Ads

When I think of Twitter, the last thing I think of is advertising—at least in the sense of banners, pop-ups, sponsored links, etc. I figured the only advertising one would benefit from on Twitter would be that of sending out tweets promoting their new products or services.

However, it seems that Twitter will start allowing bigtime advertisers to use APIs for their advertising campaigns. Speculation indicates that the ad system will work in two ways:

  1. Promoted tweets – An advertiser can search for any tweet on Twitter and sponsor it. After paying the advertising dollars, an ad is placed alongside that tweet and sent out to the world.
  2. Promoted accounts – An advertiser has the option of promoting its own account to users. This may be accomplished by linking advertisers to users that tweet contend related to the company’s products or services. This, in turn would allow a user to be presented with a new account to follow that will likely be of some interest to the user.

Twitter says the details haven’t been completely hammered out, but they intend on increasing ad revenue which is currently expected to reach $150 million this year. While Twitter only has about 200 million registered users, Facebook has over 600 million and expects to rake in $4 billion in ad revenue this year!

While it’s tempting for the five-year old Twitter to do everything in its power to increase revenue, some say that bombarding users with ads, especially useless ads, will cause a decrease in user interaction and/or user decline.

Part of the problem could end up being how ads are generated, delivered and received throughout the process. Unlike the traditional methods of advertising that are used by Google and Facebook, Twitter ads would have to utilize a different system altogether if it is to succeed. This is because most people don’t sit on Twitter and navigate from page to page like they can on Facebook.

Mobile viewers are now delivering tweets directly to phones just as if they were standard text messages. Ads would have to be tailored to fit this medium and more importantly prove to be effective.

My two cents

I’ve never been a fan of advertising, but I am a realist…none of us would know about anything that we know about if someone, somewhere didn’t see an ad for it or read about it. With that said, I’m willing to view ads as long as they are relevant and make sense to me. My concern with Twitter is the fact that MANY of those 200 million users are spammers, so what will be put in place to stop them from shotgunning lame ads to the whole community?

I probably shouldn’t assume anything until the “details” are hammered out, but naturally, I start thinking about the downsides to all this advertising. Another question I have is will users have a choice in whether their tweets can become sponsored with ads? Or if not, does the person who tweeted that sponsored message get a cut of the revenue? I’m curious to see how all this will unfold!

Google+ Already Expects its First 20 Million Users

The Google+ Social network hasn’t even launched yet and it’s already expected to hit 10,000,000 users today with that number doubling by next week. So far the service has been open for invitees to participate. Google intended the slow-opening to help keep server loads in check. Unlike previous “beta” programs that Google has launched, Google+ is as easy to get an invite as it is for your friend to add you to their Circle.

There’s no doubt that Google+ has a lot of catching up to do with Facebook, who still has over 750 million users, but nobody can doubt that Google is off to a great start. Only Google can get 20 million or more users in 2 weeks on a beta program! It seems that everyone just wants to be a part of the next big thing. From what I can see, Google+ has a lot to offer and in my opinion, operates a little more organized than Facebook.

Only time will tell how the spammers and advertising moguls mess it up, but I guess we can expect that from any social networking site, right?

As for catching up, Google+ should have no worries about Facebook. With Google’s other services like YouTube and Gmail, I can bet most people will join this service just because it’s super convenient to have all their Google accounts and services under one roof. Google+ is set to go public within a month and I have a feeling that this is going to be a big deal.

Google+ Versus Facebook

I have always been wondering when the demise of Facebook would start just like how MySpace quickly came and went along with other social networking sites like Bebo and Friendster. The old saying, “Nothing lasts forever” couldn’t be more true in the Internet world. In fact, you could easily change that to, “Nothing lasts 4 years.” Experts have already predicted that Facebook has already reached its peak and in time, members will slowly dwindle away. So what causes this? Well, a number of things could contribute to a website losing popularity. They could reach the pinnacle of their innovation, people can lose interest as they get older, younger people might find other things to do or maybe there are too many spammers and ads.

Whatever the case may be, we can guarantee that corporate America will always be there to ride the money-train as long as there are tracks to roll on. Enter Google Inc.


The latest competition to Facebook is by none other than Google. Of course like every other beta service they launch, it’s by invitation only and they are currently “at capacity”, but you can check out the Google+ Tour on their site. I won’t go over everything here, but I do want to touch on 3 of Google+’s features.


Google+ Circles
Circles is a way in which you can group your contacts into various categories. As an example, you can have your school friends, your drinking friends, your co-workers and your family members all in different circles. This is a neat feature that allows you to share specific information only with certain people.

On Facebook, if you write something on your wall, everyone gets to see it and we all know what kind of trouble that can cause!

Google describes circles as:

You share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life.


Sparks allows you to tell Google about the things you’re interested in and as you would have guessed, they will bring you the latest search results and news updates related to these items. I like Google’s explanation much better:

Remember when your Grandpa used to cut articles out of the paper and send them to you? That was nice. That’s kind of what Sparks does: looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share. Grandpa would approve.


Google+ Hangouts
I really like this feature because it allows you to join in conversations that your other friends are having at any time. It’s kind of like running into a friend at the store only now it’s online!

Bumping into friends while you’re out and about is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let buddies know you’re hanging out and see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing.

My two cents

If there ever was a worth challenger to Facebook, I would imagine Google would be it. Google has just about every other service under the sun so it only seems fitting that they add a social networking site to the mix. After looking at what Google+ promises to offer, I think the experience will be far better than that of Facebook, but I also think Google will have a lot of catch up to do. As far as customers dropping off of Facebook in exchange for Google+—I don’t think that will happen. Personally, I’ll have a Google+ account and we’ll see how things go.

As for right now, I placed my name on the waiting list to be invited into the exclusive club. We’ll see what happens.