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Facebook vs. Google+: What’s the score?

Here we are, back to work. After a very tumultuous last week for the social media giants, Facebook and Google+, I was so relieved for the weekend. I don’t know about you, but my head was spinning by Friday and I was starting to get whiplash with the back and forth announcements from FB and G+, that it reminded me sitting courtside at Wimbledon.

First Google+ serves by opening the floodgates to users and is now allowing the public to create their own personal profile, joining the 43 million who’ve been enjoying the clean simplicity of the new site in its test phase.

Then Facebook volleys back by announcing at the f8 conference the new Facebook Timeline profile that creates personal scrapbooks out of each user’s data and delivers a custom webpage of status updates, photos and videos in chronological order that is fresh, clean, yet bold all at once.  Advantage: Facebook.

But this is a new week and both companies have promised more surprises to come. Facebook’s Timeline feature won’t be made public until September 30th, unless you were lucky enough to get a Developer App and play with the gadget yourself.  So Google+ delivers a backhand shot by declaring that they are almost ready to allow businesses to create profiles. Until now, Google+ has only been available for individual people with the promise that the business feature would be coming in Fall 2011. By my calendar, that was last Friday.

Let’s wait and see who will make the next shot. I don’t think either will win the Grand Slam, but it makes for an interesting match.

Facebook Timeline

Facebook announced their latest bombshell yesterday at the f8 conference and with the unveiling of the Timeline put the ball back in their court.  I had a chance to set up my Timeline today and have to say that I liked what I saw on my own page.  There wasn’t much for me to do because the app populates most of the information into it for you, but you can tweak it a little to customize how you want it to appear.

The Timeline is a little bit personal webpage, and a little bit scrapbook. This is ideal for me because I never have time to “scrapbook” and my friends and family are always asking me about what has been going on in my life. Now I can defer them to my new Facebook Timeline and they can scroll through status updates, photos, videos, posts and see what I’ve been up to. But isn’t that what we had before on our profile page? Yes, but now it is much cleaner, each item has their own feature box which calls attention to it, they aren’t just a streaming list of items but rather an aesthetically laid out page that is less blog and more webpage or photo album.

But I think one of my favorite features is the timeline link on the top right of the page that allows you to skip to a specific time period.  Let’s say you were out of the country in July and wanted to catch up with a friend. Click on July and you can see just what happened in that month because it will jump down to that section of the timeline without you having to scroll through dozens of status updates.

Although this is another huge format change for Facebook that might take some getting used to visually, it won’t be too difficult to adapt to using. I give this new feature a thumbs up for Facebook.

 



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