War of Social Media: Twitter v Facebook

The Facebook is either the most brilliant platform in social media right now, or it’s the most desperate.

From the Twitter buy that never happened, to the FriendFeed one that did; Facebook is on a hunt. But it’s not a hunt for domination, that’s a title they already hold. No, it would seem Facebook is on the hunt for something a little bit more…

Welcome to the social media civil war.

The battle ground is this way, may I direct your attention to the Big Two and their weapons of choice:-

“Followers” v. “Friends”

On Twitter there are two types soldiers: “Followers” and “Following.” You can “Follow” as many people as you like; they don’t necessarily have to “Follow” you back. A person can “Follow” 100 people, but have 50 people “Follow” them.

On Facebook there is only one type of soldier: “Friending.” You can “Friend” someone, and if they choose to “Friend” you back – you are each on the other’s “Friends” list.

Remember, what us PR-folk are always saying? It’s what the AD people bang they fists on the table in frustration about and it’s what the marketers glare at you for ignoring from behind their pages of analyses.

Know your audience. While, someone may be right for you, how do you know you are right for them?

The “Limited Profile” v. “Locked” Tweeters

On Twitter, you can protect who sees your tweet stream by locking your profile, making your stream private and only visible to those who you allow to “Follow” you.

On Facebook, you can protect who sees your profile in a number of ways, colours and combinations. There is no one set way to do it.

However, by asking yourself what you want to use the specific outlet for, you can basically answer HOW you want to utilize it.

Differentiating is very important.

The pseudo-RSS v. “25 Random Things”
News v. Notes
140 characters v. “To infinity and beyond”

Call it what you will but…

The people who use Twitter the most, which is about 10% of its total users, use it as a tool to share. They don’t use it as a fad or to be cool or in technology style to say, “OMG, I have one too.”

Twitter, at its finest, is a pseudo-RSS feed.

If I wanted to read about your day and your “25 Random Things” note, that even made it into the pages of Time Magazine, I would be on the Facebook, MySpace, Live Journal or even in the “Journal” section of DeviantArt.

But I want straight up information? Fast, hard and to the point? That’s what Twitter is for.

Networking v. “Friending” v. Chit-chat

  • Have a quick idea? Twitter.
  • Enlighten on your day? Facebook.
  • Invite me for a drink? Both.

Touching Base v. Keeping Base

  • I want to know what’s going on right now: Where? When? How? How much? Why? = Twitter.
  • I curious, tell me about it more, the details please. = Facebook.

Tweets v. the Status Message

  • I really hate Fox News – this [link] just went live = Twitter.
  • I really hate MSNBC, bunch of liberals! = Facebook.
  • Obama holds town hall meeting, watch live feed here [link] via @CNN = Twitter.
  • Can’t wait until the weekend! Girls Night out! *wheee* = Facebook.

Can you see the difference?

The Googles & Bings v. the Facebooks v. The Twitters

  • The in-depth searching is for Google and Bing. They are the best at it, they excel at it…and in terms of MySpace, Facebook and all those other websites (including you LinkedIn), it’s just silly.
  • Want to see a political poll talking to “your generation” = Facebook.
  • Want to read about the extent, in real time, of the real civil war going on in Iran = Twitter in co-op w/ @CNN and iReport.
  • The aftermath of the “Amazon Fail” where they deleted hundreds of gay, lesbian and bisexual books from their rankings, the in-depth analysis etc., = Google.

Citizen Journalist v. The Citizen

  • The Citizen belongs to Facebook. They write about their life, wants, dreams, desires and somewhere in there is a glimmer of the outside world where narcissism doesn’t exist, or is kept to an audacious minimum at least.
  • The Citizen Journalist belongs to Twitter. They share information about life, wants, dreams, desires and somewhere there is a glimmer of narcissism and the need for more, the want for more and a thirst to unselfishly share.

Basically, Twitter and Facebook are beneficial to a person based on what they want to do,  just like anything else.

Twitter is a fast-track stream of information coming at you like a wildfire. Facebook is geared towards keeping “in touch.”

No matter how much Facebook wants to be like Twitter, or try to replace it – it can’t. Not in my eyes at least.

They are two different beasts: one of the earth and one of the air. They belong to the brethren of elements, but after all – they are different.

While, they are at war, you really don’t have to choose…even though they would like you too.

Originally, this post was supposed to be an enlightening post on why these two platforms are different from each other and why they are both unique: peace, love, computers etc. etc. etc.

But after this new FeedFace-hybrid (Monday), with its obvious implementation into the Facebook searches (Tuesday), to the beta testing of Facebook Lite (Wednesday) – let me be blunt and share my open letter to the Facebook with you because I’m a cranky geekette.

Should you wish to, march ahead:-

Dear Facebook,

I know you’re a little ticked that @Ev and the boys didn’t sell their social media platform, called Twitter, to you. So now your new tactic is to buy the talent of FriendFeed, shut down their server (eventually) and make some hybrid FeedFace thing – but be the great 800 pound gorilla that you are, sit down and eat a banana.

Please.

You are slowly making me hate you and everything you are beginning to look like you stand for. I feel like you are turning into what social media isn’t about: domination.

You’ve gone commercial for money, lost some of your integrity and become a giant…byte-blob.

Which, just so you know, is really sad because I’ve been on your side since 2004 when a lot of people said you were just a fad. I’ve seen your grow and change over the years and I really appreciated what tools you gave me.

Five years ago, I thought you were cool…now, I just think you need to work with what you have and stop trying to be something you are not. You already rule the social media world, but…

You are NOT Twitter. Get Over it.

Sincerely,

Me xx.

~*~

Heck at this rate, Facebook should just copy MySpace and make Mark Zuckerberg everyone’s first friendjust like Tomhow unique

Now that that is out of my system, I shall step down from my little pink soap box and proceed to the battlefield.

How about you?

 

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.

Copyright © 2009 SashaH. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments

  1. I really loved reading this. Your examples were great!

    Here at work, we've been debating about whether we want to use Twitter for marketing (a lot of people still don't get the benefits of it, with good reason). Anyway, I'm going to pass this on so they can hopefully get a better grip of it. The comparisons to Facebook really helped to see it in a clearer light!

    And by the way, I know that you discussed the “reasons” we should be using Facebook vs the ones for Twitter, but I think it should be mentioned that people overlap all the time. There's still a huge younger audience that uses Twitter for all the wrong reasons (lol), and still many people that don't get it too. Maybe a topic for a future blog? =)

    Like always, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. No, you are absolutely right. People overlap ALL the time… I'm one of
    them, lol.

    But I think companies should stick to what they are good at. Facebook is
    GREAT as a “keep in touch” tool. Twitter is GREAT as a means of
    communications & information.

    I'm glad I helped you out ;) I thought about you when I wrote this, as I
    know we've had the discussion about these platforms before.

    I was thinking of that — how to use Twitter, how to use Facebook… :)

  3. I absolutely agree that there's a time for Twitter & then there's a time for Facebook. They don't need nor should be muturally exclusive. Great article! :)

  4. Thanks :)

    Yes, I think too many people try to intergrate them without realizing that
    they ARE different. And that's what Facebook is doing — I think they've
    been blinded by the fact that they are no.1, that they have lost sight of
    what made them no.1.

  5. Thanks :)

    Yes, I think too many people try to intergrate them without realizing that
    they ARE different. And that's what Facebook is doing — I think they've
    been blinded by the fact that they are no.1, that they have lost sight of
    what made them no.1.

  6. Thanks :)

    Yes, I think too many people try to intergrate them without realizing that

    they ARE different. And that's what Facebook is doing — I think they've

    been blinded by the fact that they are no.1, that they have lost sight of

    what made them no.1.

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