For well over a year I have been trying to get my friends — heck, anyone within earshot — to set up a Google+ account and give it an honest try. Every time I post on Facebook about how people need to switch, someone asks me to be specific about why. This post exists to answer that question as specifically as possible so from now on I can just direct people here instead of continuing to write down the same reasons over and over again.
#1. The first and most important reason you should switch to Google+ is because it gives you more control. Facebook users constantly complain about how frustrating and messy the security and privacy settings are. That is because the security and privacy settings are in fact frustrating and messy — there’s a real problem there. Google+’s settings are much easier to understand, implement, and monitor. You will know more intuitively what is being seen by whom and what isn’t.
#2. Recently, as part of an effort to increase Facebook’s revenues, Facebook capped the number of friends who can see any one of your posts. This is frustrating for someone just using Facebook socially, but for those trying to reach audiences and and fan bases, it is down right maddening. On Google+, all of your “friends” (G+ calls them “circles”) will be able to see all your posts. Why else are you spending time collecting groups of friends on Facebook, other than wanting to reach them with your posts? Don’t you want to know all your friends at least potentially can see everything you’d like to share with them?
#3. When you close your Google+ account, you take all your data with you. Your Facebook data belongs to them forever and ever. Google+ allows you to easily download everything you’ve ever posted, and then you can delete your account completely. If that were the only difference between Facebook and Google+, that would be reason enough for 900 million Facebook users to ditch it and switch over.
#4. Games are handled better. I despise Facebook games. I don’t play any of them, and am constantly getting invitations to play the games my Facebook friends are playing. Google+ has similar games, but you either play them or you don’t. You will never have to tolerate a barrage of game invitations, nor will you ever be notified that so and so just earned a cow in Farmville.
#5. Google+ handles photos far better. It integrates nicely with the Google-owned service Picasa, and gives you a huge amount of control over the posting, editing, and sharing of your photos. Facebook doesn’t even come close. If you’re a photo person and haven’t checked out Google+, you would love it.
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