Why Google+ Trumps Facebook for Online Invitations

Amid all the excitement of Google’s I/O event this week — the Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus Q entertainment device, people jumping out of planes — it was easy to miss the addition of an “Events” feature to the company’s foundering Google Plus (Google+) social network.

But unlike with Facebook, Events doesn’t require people to be on Google+. All they need is an email address. And if the host or guests use Google’s much more popular network, Gmail, Events works especially smoothly.

Facebook Events is now the default way to send invites. But many people are paying less attention to every Facebook alert, including invites. And to invite a friend to your event, they have to first be on Facebook and also be your friend. If you often glance at your friends list and say “who is that guy?” you may not want to add yet more people in order to just send an invite. 

Google+ Events takes its basic design from Facebook, so the process is familiar. But Facebook no longer allows you to add email addresses of people who you aren’t already Facebook friends with or who aren’t on the network. Google+ does, and if you have Gmail, you can pull the addresses right from your Contacts list.

If the guests use the online Google Calendar, the invite automatically appears as an entry. (With Facebook, you have to download and a open a clunky calendar file, or just type the event on your calendar.)

In fact, it’s more useful to think of the feature, not as Google+ Events, but as Gmail Events.


Events starts by offering a seemingly endless choice of themes — photos or illustrations of cocktail glasses, people dancing, popcorn and many others that appear as banners across the top of the invitation. You can also upload your own image, but it has to at least 940 pixels wide, and it will get cropped to a stubby 280 pixels tall. Most photos won’t work or won’t be worth the trouble of resizing. The rest is very familiar. Fill in the day and time (annoyingly using the 24-hour military-style clock) and pick a location using Google Maps

Then type in a note or other details and invite guests. If they are on Google+, thier ID will appear. But don’t worry about them never logging into the actual network. They will get an alert in Gmail, too. And if they aren’t in the Google universe, just select from your contcts or manually type in thier email address. They will get the same email message, with a button that they can click on to access the event page and RSVP.

As with Facebook, you can see a listing of who has been invited, who has accepted and who has declined. Anyone can post comments to the event, and you can send updates to guests.

Google+ Events has several innovative features that go beyond Facebook, however. The best is Party Mode, which allows people to upload and view photos of the event in real-time and see in an album afterward. But this requires people to be active Google+ users, with the smartphone app. So it probably won’t work for most people.

If you and your friends are drifting away from Facebook, or you don’t want to add yet more acquaintances to your “Friends” list, Google’s new Events feature is a handy alternative for getting folks together.

 Article provided by TechNewsDaily, a sister site to Laptopmag.com.

Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Jarrod Says:

    Well, no longer using Facebook for events. I have had this problem before with people just not checking their Facebook invites.

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options