Google+ and Facebook have both announced updates to their social media sites this week. Google+ is now allowing users to use GIFs (fancy acronym for those cool moving images you see everywhere) as profile pictures and even has a link on the Google+ webpage showing users how to make a GIF.
Matt Steiner who is a software engineer at the search engine giant made the announcement on his own Google+ page and said that the idea was to make it feel more like the newspaper in Harry Potter. This seems like a promising update, one that might make more potential users take a closer look at what Google+ has to offer… because a moving picture of you that you can create yourself sounds much cooler than that plain picture with an Instagram filter you probably use now. Even better, GIF profile pictures will animate not only on desktops but also on mobile devices.
Facebook also revealed updates earlier this week and although they aren’t as exciting as the GIF profile picture option that Google+ is offering up, it is something users have been wanting for a while. While it isn’t a “dislike” button, it is a “reply” button which now allows users to reply directly to comments that are made on their page. This new update aims to make navigating through conversation threads much easier. It will also put the more active conversation threads towards the top so that way users can see the more entertaining and engaging thoughts and commentary.
For now this Facebook update will only apply to Facebook pages and not individual personal profiles. Facebook aims to implement this new feature to all pages with more than 10,000 followers by July 10th, but pages do have the option to turn off “replies” from their admin panel long the way. This update will also just apply to desktops although they are working to expand the option to Graph API and mobile.
It seems like in this round of updates Google+ definitely wins, but it’s only a matter of time before Facebook announces the option to use GIFs as profile pictures as well… but for now Google+ can feel good about its temporary win. To learn more about the Facebook and Google+ rivalry, you can check out this infographic here.