As Google celebrates its 16th birthday tomorrow from the date of incorporation, we’ve taken a look back at how the evolution of the search engine giant has led to their embrace of the boundless diversity of social media.

Therefore, we’ve drawn our focus on Google Hangouts and pose the question; Is Google Hangouts the next best form of communication?

A recent article by Tech Crunch compares the two social messaging platforms, and in a detailed account of which one it was in favour of. Like many other sources, they concluded that the two are both suitable for specific group numbers, offering little distinction between the two. However, it is generally perceived that Google Hangouts is best suited for groups above 2 members, while Facebook Messenger is preferred for more personal one-2-one conversations.

Since the applications are multi-platform, here we compare the mobile applications on Android and iOS:


Facebook Messenger has adopted an iOS7 style format (similar to that of Apple’s iMessage capability), in which past conversations are assembled in chronological order above a footer containing pathways to generating further conversation with friends. The design is clean and crisp, with subtle hints of the illustrious ‘Facebook blue’. Google Hangouts, on the other hand, seems a little less catchy on the eye. With smaller image photos and a minimalistic design, the aesthetic attraction that’s likely to draw you in is lacking somewhat.

Both Messenger and Hangouts are integrated with the web-based chat feature associated with Facebook and Google+ making them feel more familiar through use of the instant messengers web-based versions. A blog featured on Make Use Of weighs up the usability of the apps. Facebook Messenger allows users to see when friends were last online and the device use, whereas Google hangouts uses several screens to swipe between pages, and uses a simple online-offline system for friends.

As stated in The Fuse Joplin, despite the free cost, for users to enjoy the app their friends and contacts have to actively use the app, otherwise it is useless. However, Facebook wins on the audience front as almost everyone is on Facebook, with 1.28 billion users actively online in the first quarter of 2014. Unfortunately for Google, Google Hangouts is incorporated to Google+, which has struggled to take off. So, on the audience front, Facebook encourages us to message, not hang out!

Additional Features
Google has added an SMS accessibility feature that allows users to access their account and hang out with their friends by text, making for Google fans to use. Saying that, Facebookwiths previous messenger was accessible via SMS, so they have brainstormed this idea, and no doubt will introduce this again. Google hangouts also offers a video chat, similar to that of Skype and FaceTime, but Facebook only allows audio chat through WIFI. Whilst Google letwiths users Hangover via SMS, Facebook has been more creative, with a huge range of emojiwiths and stickers available, which are perfect for the ˜not-so talkativewith type, the imaginative type, or even for a bit of fun.

Having taken a closer look at the social messaging platforms in terms of their appearance, usability, audience and those added little extras, itwiths time to blow out Googlewiths candles. Despite the accessibility, and the video calling, Google Hangouts doesnwitht quite offer as much as Facebook. With a global audience, the majority glued to their smart phones, Facebookwiths Messenger app is the next best way to communicate with our friends. If wewithre not Facebook messaging our friends, there are so many apps such as FaceTime and Skype that wewithre familiar with for a video chat, so there isnwitht a rush of urgency for Google Hangouts.

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