Like almost every social media site, it is obvious that lawyers got involved in writing the licensing terms for both Facebook and Google+.
Facebook terms: "You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others)."
Google+ terms: "11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.
11. confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license."
What the Terms Mean
That's a lot of legalese in the terms but it basically boils down this way:
Non-exclusive: This means you can use the content or license the content with other groups as well.
Transferable: They can assign someone else the same rights to your photo.
Sub-licensable: They can relicense your work to someone else, presumably for a fee.
Royalty Free They owe you no money for usage.
Worldwide: License is not limited by country.
In Connection with the service/Through the service: An attempt to gain license to any works you even link to via the service. Courts have not ruled on this yet to my knowledge.
Irrevocable: You can never end the agreement.
Perpetual: Licensing term never needs to be renewed. It is self-renewing.
Ends Upon X: License agreement ends upon the stated factor.
Who is More Photographer Friendly?
While Google+ adds in the term "This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services" I don't think many of us would have the funds to challenge Google in court on what constitutes "enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services." Because of this, and that Facebook allows you to terminate the license agreement with them, Facebook is more photographer friendly. However, both sites are not to be considered favorable to photographers at all with regards to licensing. You can reduce your risk or losing the use of a valuable photo by never uploading high resolution files to either service and by always watermarking your images as this reduces the attractiveness for outside use by Google+ or Facebook.
Summary of Licensing Terms
|In Connection With/Through||X||X|
|Ends Upon Content/Account Deletion||X|