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Why Twitter might beat Facebook?

May 22, 2011

The social media race is well established between the two giants Twitter and Facebook since Myspace and Friendster are out. Facebook reached 500 million users, and Twitter 300 million. And it doesn’t seem to stop. Though, there are significant differences between the two platforms that will be determinant to decide who will zin the social media battle in the future. And contrary to what people think, Twitter might well be the winner...

Let’s be clear on the principle: Facebook is primarily to see what you’re friends are up to, and Twitter is primarily to see… well, everything else. Once you know that your best friend has been trashed last night, or Miguel, that spanish block you barely remember praises eating apples with a fork and a knife, not much else to get interested in. Still pretty cool to look at the latest viral video on youtube, but that’s about it. Twitter is more about getting interested in… interesting stuff. Let’s say you’re a big fan of the brand Apple (which is purely random). You can follow the brand account to get latest news, look through the Twitter search engine (thanks to the genius idea of the #) to get even latest news (literally in the minute), or get connected to experts and professionals blogging about Apple. Twitter is not limited to your close friends as Facebook: it is open to the whole world.

The Ussama Bin Laden’s death, the IMF President’s scandal and a lot more other information has primarily been announced on Twitter. Not on Facebook which only relied it through your friends. Twitter becomes a new type of media to hear about the latest news. Short, simple and terribly fast, journalist rely on Twitter more and more everyday to share “hot” information. Moreover, for those who are not satisfied by 140 characters news, a simple link to a blog/ newspaper at the end of the tweet allows to get deeper information.

The force of Facebook is to allow quick communication between its members. Email became secondary in our life. First there was the “post”, then the “comment”, and finally the “like”. The two first are quite natural and are at the base of social communication over the internet. Though, and despite the fact that Zuckerberg thinks the “like” button is the greatest invention on Facebook, it also constitutes a “poor” way of communication, limiting conversation between people to a simple and generalized term, which barely describe the real thought of its writters. It is far more easier to click that write a whole comment. The level of communication is lowered. Far from getting into a philosophical consideration, let’s just say that Facebook’s conversations risk to become more and more trivial, leading to boredom. Concerning Twitter, it is only limited to the @. It remains simple, and forces the writer to a greater reflexion when sharing its thought. It can only benefit the reader. Moreover, the retweet allows to share the thought of others. Ideas are thus spread quickly and efficiently, easily becoming viral if about a “trending” topic.

Farmville is probably the new-generation spam. If any of your friends play to it on Facebook, you know what I am talking about. And more and more people are players, the worst it becomes. This not uncommon to see in your news feed dozens of unsolicited pages from your friends asking you to help them to grow their salads (?). If some limitation is no brought to such phenomenon (Can you really end a Facebook Friendship for such reason? I would say yes, but this is another topic), the risk is to see harassed users of Facebook leaving the platform for good. But that is not the worst. A new trend is appearing on Facebook, consisting in “forcing” you to “like” pages if you want to watch what seems to be a cool video. And you can “like” it without your knowing. Scary. And I am not even talking about new scams. The phenomenon is only starting. Facebook is slowly becoming a mess getting out of the control of their creators, and might harm its  popularity. Twitter, despite some viruses too, remains for the moment away from such difficulties.

Integration? Yes, it is quite handy to tweet on Facebook, and vice-versa. But who will it benefit? Undoubtedly Twitter. With such possibility, Twitter is slowly bringing Facebook audience on its own plateform. How? Well, As Twitter users don’t have many of their friends on the plateform, this is a good way to let them know that you have Twitter. It acts as a social PR. And it is unlikely that it brings users to Facebook, since all of them already have a Facebook account.

Facebook is way ahead in this race in matter of users, but Twitter is surely closing the gap. It is easier to use and does not encounter the limitations that face Facebook. This latest will be hard to beat, but Twitter is on the right path…

One Comment leave one →
  1. anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2011 11:24 pm

    you are sexy.

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