This week, we’re concluding our 4-part series on competing social networks: Google+ and Facebook. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed over 1,400 people to get a sense of how the public uses the two social media platforms. We then distilled the results down into four distinct categories:
Last week, we looked at predictions of future usage and Google+ came out the winner — with a larger percentage of respondents expecting to increase their usage of the site in the next 2-3 years as compared to respondents with Facebook accounts. But why is that the case? This week, we’re taking a deeper dive into what users are saying they like and dislike about each site — straight from their comments.
According to respondents, what are the areas where Google+ really shines? We used our text analysis tool to pull out some of the most commonly used phrases people used with describing what they like most about Google+:
Common themes were ease of use, connection to their Google account, search capabilities, and the fact that it’s different from Facebook!
Respondents commented that Facebook’s strengths were:
Easy to connect with friends and family (since so many people are on the site), staying in touch with people, and pictures.
But every rose has its thorns. What are the weaknesses of each site?
According to respondents, Google+ has the following downsides:
Not enough people are on it, it can be confusing to use, and people would prefer if it was as widely used as Facebook.
Most people were concerned with Facebook’s for the following reasons:
Privacy and security issues, constant changes with the site, and you guessed it — the new Timeline format.
Based on our respondents’ comments, we can’t say there’s a true winner in this round. Quite clearly, Google+ has a lot of catching up to do in terms of growing its user base so that its social network is big enough to have the same gravity that Facebook does. On the other hand, Facebook users seem to be more dissatisfied with its actual product (e.g., security concerns, timeline). To see the most commonly occurring responses to each of these questions, click here.
Overall, the results indicate that Facebook is still the champion in the social networking space. While Google+ has become a promising underdog, it still has a lot of growing to do in order to compete with Facebook on a level playing field.
Interested in running your own social networking study? Looking for respondents to fill out a survey? Sound off in the comments section below.