Last week, we kicked off our 4-part series profiling the differences between 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:
- User engagement
- Feature usage
- Predictions of future usage
- Site strengths and weaknesses
In our first post, we compared user engagement on the two social networking sites and based on the responses provided, we concluded that Facebook was the winner in terms of sheer volume of people logging on and actively posting updates.
This week, we’re diving deeper to see exactly what people are using Google+ and Facebook for once they’re logged in. Based on the results of our survey, the data shows that, on average, users are engaging with features on Facebook (e.g., posting status updates, sharing content, following people) over three times more than people on Google+. Among the most commonly reported activities on each site:
Communication: the overwhelming majority of respondents who identified as Facebook users ( 87%) say they use Facebook to stay in touch with friends. Almost a third of Google+ users (29%) use Google+ for the same purpose.
Photos: the second most common activity people do on each site is share photos. While a little more than half of respondents use Facebook (53%) to post or view photos, far fewer use Google+ (13%) do the same.
Status updates: Respondents use Facebook to post status updates at nearly 4 times the rate (42%) of Google+ (13%).
Additionally, respondents reported using Facebook for promoting their businesses. “Advertise,” “Business” and “Promote” were some of the most commonly used words when we asked respondents to type in any other activity they did that we didn’t include in our multiple choice questions. At the same time, given Google’s dominance in email and search, it’s not surprising that common occurring words for Google+ users were: “Google,” “Search,” “Mail,” and “Email.”
Looks like Facebook is yet again the winner in terms feature usage. But will that continue to be the case? Check back next week when look what users expect their usage will be like in the future on each site. Until then, click here to see the full set of this week’s results.
Interested in running your own social networking study? Looking for respondents to fill out a survey? Sound off in the comments section below.